Cavities & Fillings

Cavities & Fillings

At Smiles by Design, we have heard, “But I brush my teeth!” when we inform a patient that they have a cavity many times. We understand that the word cavity is a cause for concern to many, and even frightening to some, but cavities can and still do occur.

Some people are more prone to cavities than others, but every cavity is caused by the normal activities of the mouth.

Carbohydrates in food are broken down by bacteria that release acids. These acids begin dissolving the enamel that composes the hard outer layer of teeth.

If these acids are allowed to stay on teeth, they will eat through the enamel into the softer dentin underneath, and eventually make their way into the nerve and blood supply found in the pulp. When that happens, the cavity becomes a painful reminder of why brushing and flossing are so important.


The best way to prevent the formation of cavities is to brush your teeth more frequently; ideally right after meals. If you strictly adhere to a good oral hygiene regimen, and regularly see your dentist at Smiles by Design each year, you should remain cavity-free throughout your life. Each regular dental checkup at Smiles by Design will include a cavity check that consists of testing the teeth with an explorer, and by thoroughly analyzing the X-ray taken during the visit.

Treatment – Biolase® Waterlase™ Laser Technology – Pain-Free Dentistry

The treatment of a cavity begins by removing the decay from the tooth. Often, a liner will be laid on the tooth to reduce future sensitivity before the cavity is filled with resin, porcelain, or gold. At Smiles by Design, we have been using the Biolase® Waterlase™ laser since 2000.

It uses a combination of air and water to generate hydrokinetic energy that precisely drills a cavity, and because no heat or vibrations are created it is possible to do the procedure without administering a shot. Pain-free dentistry has well and truly arrived at Smiles by Design. Plus, the Biolase® Waterlase™ laser does its job without any of the high-pitched screaming the older drills were infamous for.

Smiles by Design also utilizes the Diagnodent® by KaVo which uses a laser beam to probe the natural cracks and grooves of teeth to seek out cavities. This allows our Smiles by Design dentist to find cavities before they are visible to the naked eye which allows us to make smaller restorations in a much less invasive manner.

Our goal is to maintain your teeth at their healthiest, and preserving more of your tooth during restoration goes a long way toward optimizing your smile. There may be some sensitivity around the tooth for up to two weeks, but this is normal and should not worry you. In some cases, the filling may be built up too high, so a second appointment may be needed to allow us to shave it down to a more comfortable level.

WaterLase Technology: Pain free dentistry. No injections for fillings

The two most common causes of dental anxiety and fear have always been the sound of the drill and the idea of needles being used in your mouth. Well, as part of our ongoing commitment to the latest technologies Smiles by Design proudly uses the WaterLase System by Biolase. That means pain-free dentistry is no longer a dream of the future. Pain-free dentistry can be found at Smiles by Design! Learn More Here. 

We offer more Restorative Dentistry Services – Smiles by Design offers a full range of restorative dentistry options that will give you back the confidence and functionality you have been living without. Our restorative dental treatments are designed to enhance our patients’ lives by giving them back the smile they deserve.

Are you in need of the highest quality restorative dentistry in the greater Chicago area? Do you have tooth pain when eating sweet, hot, or cold foods? Then contact Smiles by Design today to schedule an appointment to treat your damaged tooth, and get back on track to smile perfection!

To schedule an appointment with one of our dentists, or to simply find out more information, contact Smiles By Design at (312) 263-2323, Send us a message or come by our office and see us today!