What is a Cavity?

A cavity develops when a tooth decays or breaks down. The cavity is a hole that can continue to grow deeper and deeper over a short period of time. Sometimes the cavities get so large that you can see them in the mirror; however, most cavities start from a tiny pinhole in the top of your tooth and expand into large craters undetectable with the naked eye. Some people think of it like an iceberg.

How do we get cavities?

A cavity is when bacteria penetrates through the hard enamel using a tiny pinhole and starts rotting and eating away the softer parts of your tooth. It is actually an infection, and we know this infection can spread toxins throughout your entire body. Cavities can cause systemic issues if that decay & infection is left untreated. Because your complete health is important to us, we perform comprehensive exams that take into consideration all aspects of your overall health. During these exams, you may notice our team asking questions about your blood pressure, heart rate, sleep habits, headaches, and whether or not you feel tired or dizzy throughout the day. These are just a portion of the items needed to determine the best treatment for you and your family.


Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease…5 times more common than asthma, 4 times more common that childhood obesity, and 20 times more common than diabetes.

Why choose an Inlay/Onlay over a plastic filling?

  • The amount of tooth material removed is less, so inlays and onlays tend to be more conservative and esthetic. The inlay and onlay procedures strengthen a tooth’s structure as compared to fillings where the structure may be weakened due to removing too much tooth material.
  • Inlays and onlays are also likely to last longer than a regular filling, because the inlay or onlay material is custom made and bonded or fused to the tooth. The porcelain is stronger then plastic.
  • Inlays or onlays will not discolor as resin fillings usually do.
  • Inlays and onlays are custom made and they fit better and do not shrink or change size during the curing process, this makes it a lot easier for you to clean or brush your teeth.
  • Inlays and onlays look more like natural teeth.

How do we fix cavities?

Today, the filling materials used are determined by the size of the cavity, where the cavity is in your mouth and how long you want the filling material to last.

  1. By far the best option for fixing large cavities are inlays and onlays. These restorations are used when a cavity has rotted away approximately 30-60% of your tooth structure. They are much stronger than the plastic restorations and are made with precision, designed and fabricated by a CAD/CAM computer and mill right here in our office.
  2. White plastic (composite) fillings – these are generally recommended when you lose less than 30% of your tooth structure. They are an excellent option for smaller cavities, especially in the front of your mouth. Our team at Detail Dental has been trained to match your fillings to the exact shade of your tooth preventing anyone from knowing you ever had the cavity.
Inlays and Onlays are not only aesthetic, they are a more conservative treatment over fillings and often the preferred treatment for cavities. Learn more by following the link at right.

How do we prevent cavities?

  • Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after every meal or at least twice a day. Bedtime is an important time to brush.
  • Brush up and down in a circular motion.
  • Gently brush your gums as well to keep them healthy.
  • Floss your teeth once a day to remove plaque and food that’s stuck between your teeth.
  • Make sure we apply prescription fluoride at each dental visit.
  • Limit sweets and sugary drinks, like soda, juice, and sports drinks.
  • Come see us twice a year for regular checkups. We hope you’ll hear those two wonderful words: “No cavities!
Proper hyginene is vital to your dental and overall systemic health. Your Detail Dental team encourages you to use the link at right to learn more about the proper techniques for brushing and flossing to help prevent tooth decay.