Cavities or Tooth Decay

What Is A Cavity?

Cavity, also known as tooth decay or dental caries, is the destruction of your tooth enamel, the hard, outer layer of your teeth. It can be a problem for children, teens, and adults. 

When dental cavities form tiny holes or pits, it can lead to bacterial infection, tooth loss, or severe toothache. A cavity is treated using procedures like dental sealants and fluoride treatments, or dental fillings.

Dental Sealants and Fluoride Treatment

When you visit our dental practice in Salem, MA for dental sealants & fluoride treatment, Dr. Orfaly and our Registered Dental Hygienists will explain the benefits and what will be the best solution for you or your children’s dental care.

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings painted on the chewing surface of teeth — usually the back teeth (premolars and molars) — to prevent tooth decay.  Sealants quickly bond into the grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of the teeth.

Fluoride
is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay. It is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in almost all foods and water supplies. The benefits of fluoride have been well known for over 50 years and are supported by many health and professional organizations.

Fluoride Works in Two Ways:

Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. We gain topical fluoride by using fluoride-containing dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels. Dentists and dental hygienists generally recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.

Systemic fluoride strengthens the teeth that have erupted as well as those that are developing under the gums. We gain systemic fluoride from most foods and our community water supplies. It is also available as a supplement in drop or gel form and can be prescribed by your dentist or physician. Generally, fluoride drops are recommended for infants, and tablets are best suited for children up through the teen years. It is very important to monitor the amounts of fluoride a child ingests. If too much fluoride is consumed while the teeth are developing, a condition called fluorosis (white spots on the teeth) may result.

Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help prevent decay. The dentist or dental hygienist may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments for the following reasons:

  • Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth

  • Exposed and sensitive root surfaces

  • Fair to poor oral hygiene habits

  • Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake

  • Inadequate exposure to fluorides

  • Inadequate saliva flow due to medical conditions, medical treatments, or medications

  • Recent history of dental decay

  • Remember, fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay! It is important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks, and visit your dentist on a regular basis.

Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings

A composite (tooth-colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc.  The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.

There are many types of filling materials available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. You and the dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today. Because composite fillings are tooth-colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.

As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. They are very durable and will last many years, giving you a long-lasting, beautiful smile.

Reasons for Composite Fillings:

  • Chipped teeth.

  • Closing space between two teeth.

  • Cracked or broken teeth.

  • Decayed teeth.

  • Worn teeth.

How Are Composite Fillings Placed?

Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment at Fisher & Orfaly Dental. While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however, this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling. You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.

Cost Of Treatment For Tooth Decay

Today the biggest concern for dental treatments is the high costs incurred. Apart from the regular visits, the dental treatment can be way costlier with fillings, root canals, crowns, dental bridges, and implants, or tooth extraction. You can find out the insurance coverage suited for the cavity treatment by visiting Insurance & Payment Plans.

Insurance & Payment Plans

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Patient Testimonials

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Deej Twombly
October 7, 2020

Coming to Dr Orfaly is The best decision I could have made. I didn’t have a dentist for years and they saw me when I had an emergency. Now I am getting all of my dental work here, perfect caps, bridges and hygiene. I highly recommend Dr Orfaly and his staff.

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Mica Bolotin
October 28, 2020

After having a negative experience with a filling with a past dentist, I was nervous to go to a new dentist with tooth pain. Dr. Orfaly and team were very understanding and knowledgable when walking me through my options for a cracked tooth. 10/10 would recommend due to their professionalism, attention to detail, and level of care. Thanks team!

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Ashley Spencer
April 1, 2021

Dr Orfaly is the best dentist around! I have alot of anxiety around going to the dentist & Dr Orfaly always makes sure to check in to see how I'm doing & is so nice. If a referral is needed to a specialist, he makes the call for you & gets you an appt quickly (mine was even the same day) I love how they book you with the same dental hygienist for all cleanings.. Adds another level of comfort... Shoutout to mine, Kathy!

Dr.

Dr. George Orfaly
D.M.D

About Dr. George Orfaly

Dr. George Orfaly is a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry and has been practicing as a dentist in Salem, MA since 2005. He has consistently improved the lives of his patients by providing them relief, confidence, and healthy smiles. He believes that oral health is directly related to overall health and well-being. Dr. Orfaly has also been an active member of the American Dental Association, Massachusetts Dental Society, and North Shore District Dental Society.

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18 Hawthorne Blvd. Salem, MA 01970

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Monday       : 8 am - 7:30 pm
Tuesday       : 8 am - 5 pm
Wednesday : 8 am - 7:30 pm
Thursday     : 8 am - 5 pm
Friday           : 8 am - 12 pm