A Guide to Tooth Decay, Cavities, And Dental Fillings – Robert Korwin DMD PA

A Guide to Tooth Decay, Cavities, And Dental Fillings


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The stages of caries on the molar -- 3D Rendering

Tooth Fillings, Cavities and Tooth Repairs

Our detailed guide will walk you through the latest treatments for cavities, different types of fillings and tooth repairs for your dental health. Dr. Korwin offers the latest techniques beside fillings include sealants, remineralizing gels and probiotics that can prevent cavities or help heal the shallowest ones in Red Bank and Middletown, NJ.

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or visit our office at
500 State Route 35,
Suite 562
Red Bank, NJ 07701

What Is The Length Of Time For A Cavity To Get To The Nerve?

The distance from the surface of a tooth to the nerve inside ranges from less than a millimeter to about one-quarter of an inch depending on the type of tooth.

As bacterial acid in the mouth dissolves the enamel surface of the tooth it causes a growing opening which is called a cavity.

How fast this opening enlarges and travels a few millimeters depends on the amount of acid present, how intact the tooth has become as it has grown to adult size, how many surface defects there are, and how many scars, abrasions or fractures are in the surface enamel or dentin.

Tooth Decay model

How Long Does It Take For A Cavity To Hurt?

Should you wait till your tooth hurts?

Most people are amazed to learn that cavities start as microscopic pits. They result from an acidic imbalance in the normal chemistry around the enamel layer of a tooth. When the tooth is attacked by acid (usually produced by germs that live in the mouth) the surface layer dissolves. Gradually the tiny pit grows larger and larger until it finally reaches the soft inner part of the tooth called dentin.

This dissolving process can take many years, or sometimes may seem to happen almost overnight. Some times very small cavities are very sensitive, and some very large cavities are not at all. In either case, when the germs causing the cavity reach the far inside of the tooth (commonly called the ‘nerve’ or ‘pulp’)...

Tooth Pain

Do You Need a Root Canal? Toothaches, Unnecessary Root Canals and Extractions

How Do I Know If I Need a Root Canal?

We had 50 patients for dental pain in the last 4 weeks. Half of the patients were convinced they needed a root canal treatment.

A complete diagnosis was undertaken. This included a full history, X- ray, review of prior x rays, palpation of the area, occlusion (or biting) slight percussion (tapping), a gentle air stream, vitality testing, photography for fractures, and comparison to 30 years of similar clinical histories.

Dental X- rays usually showed cloudiness or calcification of the maxillary sinus on one or both sides. This together with marked tenderness in the maxillary tuberosity distal to the root of the last molar indicates a history of sinus inflammation.

Composite Fillings

Cavity Fillings: Do They Hurt? How Laser Dentistry Painlessly Remove Cavities

Laser offers a drill-free, pain-free dental experience

Cavities form when bacteria grow around the teeth. We always have bacteria in our mouths but when we eat some sugary foods, and the food sticks to the teeth, bacteria love to feast on the sugar and reproduce, forming colonies of growing germs. Each germ produces acid from the sugar that we have eaten, and the acid then start a tiny hole in the tooth surface by dissolving away the enamel that protects the tooth and keeps it able to chew.

When the hole gets large enough it opens the dentin underneath, and then no amount of brushing or flossing can remove the bacteria that grow in that opening.

How Laser Dentistry Painlessly Remove Cavities

Cavity Treatment: How Long Should You Wait?

It’s sad when you visit the dentist and you find out you have cavities.

Most people want to know an exact number, but scientifically, cavities are holes caused by an infection of bacteria and there are an infinite number of them in any one tooth.

The bacteria are trapped in tooth crevices or under the gums, and create cavities that are shallow, medium or deep, and in between too!

The answer most people are really want to know is: what is the cutoff between when should you put a filling in and when you either wait or treat with preventive dental techniques.

The stages of caries on the molar -- 3D Rendering

Why Does My Tooth Hurt After a Filling?

Does Your New Filling Hurt?

Like other parts of the body, if teeth are injured, there are nerves that say ouch.

A cavity in your tooth is a hole which is formed by germs that live in your mouth. The germs produce acid which enlarges the cavity, the deeper the cavity, the more the tooth nerve responds. It can become hyper sensitive and say ouch more quickly, and last a longer time before quieting down.

A filling removes the softened bad part, and an artificial replacement is put back in. Small cavities are repaired with fillings, larger ones with onlays or crowns.


Tooth-colored Fillings: Dental Composites

Tooth Colored Fillings

Dental composites, also called "white fillings"

Modern dental fillings differ greatly from those in the recent and distant past. 6000 year ago, beeswax was used to fill cavities. Fast forward to 2000 years ago and gold, which is both malleable and durable was used by the Etruscans to make fillings and even crowns. The first use of silver was in a Chinese medical book dated about 1400 years ago, and the first attempts at making tooth colored crowns were about 250 years ago.

These days you can choose a filing material that blends in so well with your natural teeth that one cannot tell the difference between a filling and a tooth. The new tooth colored fillings are made of a blend of resin and a filler such as silica, quartz or glass. The filling is bonded into the tooth and then shaped to resemble an ideal tooth shape, and to function well during chewing and speaking.

Composite Fillings

Dan S. – Middletown, NJ

“After getting my veneers, I felt great. The feeling you get when you get a new smile cannot be explained.” 

Stephanie R

“I always have a great experience at Dr. Korwin’s. Thank you for making my smile one I can be proud of in photos!” – Google

Dr. Rogers F., Highlands, NJ

“Dr. Korwin is simply a superlative dental practitioner, the finest I have ever encountered.”

Check-up for Cavities in Red Bank & Middletown, NJ

Dental x-ray and dentist hands

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