Valley Dental Associates
9199 Reisterstown Road, Suite 206B, Owings Mills, MD 21117

Know Your Teeth: Tooth Decay and Fillings

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To understand how cavities occur, it helps to start with a basic idea of how tooth anatomy works. Your teeth are made up of several layers. The outer layer is called enamel, and it is the toughest substance in your body. Underneath your gum line, cementum covers each of your teeth’s roots. The next layer is known as dentin. It has some nerve endings, but not as many as the core underneath, which is called the pulp. A mature tooth’s pulp serves only to warn us of damage or infection. It does so by transmitting the sensation of pain.

How Cavities Attack

Food trapped in the irregular grooves and pitted areas of your teeth’s chewing surfaces is often a root cause of decay. The damage soon spreads from their thin enamel surfaces to the tooth’s underlying dentin. Another way a cavity attacks is from smoother surfaces between teeth or on the front and back. The affected area is usually wide and comes to a point at the entrance to deeper layers of the tooth.

How Your Dentist Finds and Treats Tooth Decay

Visual exams and use of small probes assist your dentist in finding cavitations. X-ray examinations, especially bitewing x-rays, reveal caries wedged between teeth and under the gum line. When these methods don’t reveal enough information, your dentist may use a disclosing solution to test suspicious areas. If a cavity extends into the dentin, treatment is necessary. The two-part goal of cavity treatment includes removing decay and replacing it with a filling material. After injecting a local anesthetic, your dentist uses a high-speed dental drill to remove all decayed portions of the tooth and prepare it for a filling. A liner is often inserted into the tooth to reduce sensitivity. Base cements may be added to deeper fillings for temperature insulation. The actual filling is usually made from amalgam, resin, porcelain or gold. Fillings are layered on top of the liner to rebuild its structure.

Preventing Cavities

While affordable dentists can repair most decayed teeth, cavity prevention is always preferable. The easiest way to avoid the dental drill is to maintain excellent oral hygiene. Brush at least twice every day, and floss once daily. Avoid or limit sugary snacks and drinks, and visit your dentist regularly.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in Owings Mills, call Valley Dental Associates today at (443) 898-1240 or make an appointment.

Valley Dental Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Owings Mills. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Valley Dental Associates, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Valley Dental Associates.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Because of sinus problems, I have been anxious about dental visits for many, many years. However, Dr. Stewart, Dr. Kleinman, the Big O, Rico and the […]
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All the staff at Valley Dental is wonderful especially Dr. Srewart. She was kind professional and very understanding
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Matthew made me feel comfortable. He was positive and cleaned my teeth quickly.
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Dr. Gorman and his staff are awesome. Always friendly, always communicative, and they're always willing and able to answer my questions.
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Dr Weitzman has my highest recommendation.
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Excellent experience!
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Service was great and professional. People were friendly.
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Dr. Michael Weitzman and his staff are the absolute best. I've been going to Valley Dental for many years and never disappointed in service and […]
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No waiting. Staff was very attentive. Dr. Gorman explained every step of the procedure he was performing and what I should expect next.
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The staff and provider were excellent
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My experience was great , i came in for a root canal , and was a little nervous about the pain , but Dr. Gorman and his asistant was the best ,i felt […]
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Dr. Stewart and Octavia were so wonderful to me. I have such anxiety when I go to the dentist and they both made me feel so at ease. Octavia even […]
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Good professional servive
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Complex appointment made as pleasant as possible by dentist and assistant.
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I can't say that my favorite thing is going to the dentist, but If I must, Valley Dental is the place. It's very professional and the doctors, […]
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Very professional staff.
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Friendly, professional staff. Linda is so friendly, she rocks!
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It wax very good experience .
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The front desk was very welcoming. The hygienist was very epithetical and made sure I was comfortable with the process. The dentist was very open and […]
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As always a great experience!
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Tough procedure performed without pain and in a very pleasant manner.
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Great staff and I love Dr. Weiztman excellent care and very thorough and patient.
Trene F.
I am always treated so well by the staff, dental assistant and especially the dentist! In the past, I avoided seeing the dentist because my teeth […]
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I am a life long patient with Valley and will remain so, whomever helps me is always aweesome.
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Valley dental meets all my expectation.
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Always excellent
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I am more then please with my experience with Valley Dental.
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Outstanding staff and services
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Dr. Gorman is great!
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Dr. Weitzman and his colleagues are truly excellent - very skilled and quick, and on top of all aspects of dental care. I am usually someone who […]
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I was able to get an appt very easily. All staff that I interacted with were very friendly and courteous. I don't like going to the dentist and they […]
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Great service ....... Dr. Gorman is the best.
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Very good experience for my first visit
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Timely, courteous, expertise
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Excellent cleaning
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The dental service was excellent!
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The care taken was really impressive and they are really good in doing a complete oral check up
Ravi C.
No one would think going to a dentist is fun especially with serious dental problems. But the dedication, concern and competence of Dr. Weizman and […]
Charles S.
mat was very pleasant, efficient and thorough. this is my second time with him and I have scheduled my next cleaning with him . Norma and Dr. […]
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This has been the best office i've ever been to. Even better than other doctors i.e optometrist, general doctor, etc. It is never crowded. There is a […]
Taylor T.
I called for an emergency appointment , and I was seen right away.
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My visit is always great!!! The best Dentist office I have ever been to!!!!
Nicole W.
I have been a patient of Dr. Weitzman for several years now and I have nothing to say but thank you for the excellent service rendered to me and also […]
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Every one was very pleasant, and nice .and took good care of me .
Linda K.
Dr. Gorman did an excellent job of diagnosing and treating my tooth problem.
Susan H.
I called today with a dental emergency at 11:00AM. I was given an appointment 2 hour later. I am now without the extreme pain! Thanks to Norma & Dr […]
Andrew R.
Dr. Stewart was excellent.
Judith F.
Always glad to receive dedicated care by a wonderful staff and professional dentists in your practice :)
Amit Y.
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  • Monday 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
  • Wednesday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
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