Most people will experience tooth decay at some point in their lives. As a dentist in Kirkland & Seattle, Dr. Caggiano’s goal is to help people prevent tooth decay as much as possible; however, many will still get cavities at some point. Fortunately, tooth decay can be treated, and the tooth restored to function in most cases.
A cavity is actually an infection in a tooth. The mouth contains many bacteria; most of them are harmless, but a few are able to cause cavities. When these bacteria are exposed to sugar, they become sticky, and stick to the surface of the teeth. They also create acid, which begins to dissolve the enamel of the tooth. This is what causes a cavity.
When a cavity is only in the outer layers of the tooth, then a filling can fix the problem. To place a filling, the dentist in Kirkland drills away the infected tooth tissue, which removes the bacteria that caused the cavity. Then the dentist places a material to fill in the hole left by the drilling.
The material used for fillings has changed over time. The old material was called amalgam; it’s a silver-colored metal that contains mercury. There have been concerns about the health effects of the mercury in amalgam fillings, and they’re not very aesthetically pleasing. A newer material called composite resin has been developed that looks almost exactly like natural tooth tissue. It comes in a variety of shades, so it can be perfectly color-matched to your tooth.
As a dentist in Kirkland & Seattle, Dr. Caggiano believes in using only the safest and most modern treatments for his patients. That’s why he uses only composite resin for all fillings. If you’d like, he can remove your old mercury-containing amalgam fillings and replace them with fillings made of the tooth-colored material.
When a cavity goes untreated, it may spread into the deeper layers of the tooth (known as the pulp). When this happens, a regular filling won’t be enough to treat the problem. The dentist will need to perform a root canal on the infected tooth, to stop the spread of the infection and also to save the tooth.
Although it sounds scary to some people, a root canal is actually not so different from a filling. For a root canal, the dentist uses the same drill as for a filling, then simply cleans out the infected material inside of the tooth, and fills the space with a specialized soft rubber material to protect it. Next, the hole in the tooth is filled, either with a filling or with a crown.
If you believe that you may have one or more cavities, then you need a great dentist in Kirkland to evaluate your teeth and provide the necessary treatment. Dr. Mark Caggiano of Seattle’s Best Smiles has the technical skills necessary to perform these procedures at very high quality. He’s also known as “the Sedation Dentist of Seattle” because of his expertise in sedation dentistry, which can help those who feel anxious when they visit the dentist. Even though you know you’ll be kept comfortable throughout, the thought of a filling or a root canal makes many people feel nervous, and sedation dentistry can help ensure that you’re relaxed throughout the process. To book an appointment with Dr. Caggiano, please contact us. Your dentist in Kirkland looks forward to meeting you.
For over 25 years, Dr. Mark Caggiano, DDS has provided cosmetic and restorative dentistry in a comfortable, professional environment. Dr. Caggiano received a degree in Biology and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The University of Southern California. He has had extensive post-graduate training and is a member of numerous professional organizations including The American Dental Association and The International Dental Implant Association. Dr. Caggiano makes dental treatment relaxed and comfortable for patients while enhancing their oral health and beautifying their smiles.