Questions About Cavities and Tooth Fillings

You can’t discuss tooth fillings without discussing cavities. After all, the infection that causes cavities (tooth decay) is the reason why fillings are necessary in the first place. Nevertheless, even patients who’ve received the restorations to treat tooth decay may still have questions about their cavities and tooth fillings, some of which we’ve answered below.

How will a tooth filling treat my cavity?

Regardless of how big it is, a cavity, or hole, will leave your tooth weak, and if not treated, the cavity will grow. A tooth filling involves cleaning and sanitizing the cavity to remove the bacteria and infected tooth structures. Once it’s cleaned, a filling is placed into the cavity and hardened for stability. The restoration helps keep your tooth strong and healthy while repelling bacteria from entering its inner structures.

Is a dental filling a viable alternative to root canal therapy?

Cavity treatment is relative, and depends on the severity of your tooth’s infection. While tooth fillings are great for mild to moderate tooth decay, more extensive tooth infection could require root canal therapy. If so, a filling alone won’t suffice, since the tooth’s inner chamber will have to be cleaned and the root canal sealed before the filling material can be placed.

What are tooth-colored fillings made of?

Many patients have, and still receive, metal amalgam fillings, though we typically recommend more discreet tooth-colored fillings, instead. Made from a mixture of acrylic and glass-like particles, known as composite resin, tooth-colored fillings not only blend in with your smile, but also create a more secure barrier against bacteria when bonded to your tooth’s structure.


Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced general, restorative, and family dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you and your family are new or returning patients, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.