Available by phone; Monday through Friday 8:30-12:00 a.m. & 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Dental practice Oelp - Hoogh Boulandt

Catharijnesingel 77 – 3511 GN – Utrecht – Tel: (030) – 231 96 25

Available by phone; Monday through Friday 9:00-12:00 a.m. & 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Cavities and fillings

What are holes?

Cavities are caused by bacteria adhering to the surface of your teeth. As the bacteria multiply and grow, they form a whitish layer called dental plaque. If dental plaque is not removed, it begins to secrete acids that make small holes in the surface of the tooth enamel. As the cavities get larger, they eventually grow into one larger hole ( caries).

A cavity in your teeth needs to be filled to keep the cavity from getting bigger and hurting. If you have a cavity, the dentist also drills a hole. The dentist removes the diseased part full of caries, so to speak.
Filling teeth is one of the occupations of the dentist. In the past, fillings were made of gold and often priceless.When amalgam was invented, dentistry became accessible to everyone. Nowadays, we use composite. In terms of durability, if properly constructed, they usually do not fall short of the old-fashioned amalgam. They can often last up to 10 years or more.

Multiple fillings in a tooth
An element consists of several faces, think for example of a die, it also has several sides / faces. The top of an element, especially the molar, also has several small planes. Holes may appear on different surfaces that need to be filled. If multiple holes are filled in different planes, it will be reflected on your bill. The bill will then show, for example, a two-plane or three-plane restoration.

Etching and undercoating
Etching involves roughening the tooth surface with a special acid. When the surface is made rough, it becomes easier for the filling material to adhere to the dentin. This prevents the filling from falling out again quickly.
Roughening the tooth surface reduces the protection of the tooth and will allow the tooth to become more sensitive to external stimuli (for example, cold and heat). Therefore, in most cases, a carpet pad is also applied that prevents these stimuli from reaching the nerve.

If the dentist needs to do something that may be painful, in most cases he will first suggest sedation. That anesthesia consists of a small prick, after which you usually feel no pain. If you still feel pain after anesthesia, tell me right away. The dentist can then add a little extra sedation. Once the anesthetic takes effect, your cheek or lip often feels thick and you may feel that it is more difficult to talk and eat or drink. This sensation disappears again after the anesthesia wears off, usually one or a few hours after treatment. If you are very reluctant to take the shot, you can ask the dentist to try first without anesthesia. If the pain becomes too bothersome, the dentist can still give anesthesia at your request. The dentist can make the area where the anesthetic is given slightly less sensitive with an ointment.

Sealing at the dentist means sealing or sealing grooves and pits in your molars. Sealing is done with a plastic varnish. To make the lacquer adhere properly, the grooves and pits in your molars are roughened with an acidic liquid. This is called etching. It is usually done with a syringe. Now the plastic varnish can be applied to the molar with an instrument or brush. The paint is very thin and flows deep into the bottom of the grooves and pits. Sealing is done to protect the molars from cavities. Usually, sealing is done shortly after the permanent molar has come all the way through. If they have not yet been sealed, then the likelihood of holes is highest.

To fill a hole, it takes about 25 minutes. Additional time is added for multiple holes. Some people have lots of cavities on different sides of their teeth. The dentist treats only one side at a time. This is because otherwise anesthesia must be performed on both sides. This is dangerous because then you are totally unaware if you are biting your cheek, drinking something too hot etc. If only one side is anesthetized, you can eat on that side and will be able to tell much more quickly if the food or drink is too hot, for example. Also, there may be post-treatment pain. It is very uncomfortable eating and talking when this pain occurs on both sides.


Wait it out for a few days, the pain may go away on its own. If the pain remains or gets worse make an appointment with the dentist. There are different types of fillings. Different areas that can be filled. So a filling can be large or small. The larger the padding the more likely you are to suffer. If a hole is very close to the nerve, you may feel pain after treatment. Then take a painkiller. If the pain gets worse and starts throbbing and stinging, contact the dentist. If the tooth is filled with a white filling, it may be sensitive with hot and cold for a while. The pain will go away on its own after a while (if the pain remains or gets worse, contact the dentist). Sometimes you may also experience some discomfort in your gums after filling. Sometimes to make the filling, a band (kind of pie-shaped mold) is put around your tooth for the proper shape. This can sometimes cut into the gums a bit. So you may experience some discomfort from this after treatment. Feel free to take a painkiller.

Almost all of our food and drink contains sugars and starches. Dental plaque consists of bacteria and products of bacteria. These convert sugars and starches in the mouth into acids. Those acids cause cavities in your teeth. Sugars are added to many foods, such as candy, cookies and soft drinks. But there are also naturally occurring sugars in products, such as fruit. Starch is found in potatoes, pasta, bread, crackers and legumes. If you frequently consume foods that contain sugar and starch, you are at greater risk of cavities in your teeth.

Soda, fruit juice, yogurt drinks and wine contain sugars. In addition to sugars that cause cavities, they also contain acids. You barely taste the acid. The sugar overpowers the sour taste. Acids attack your tooth enamel. As a result, your teeth wear down. This type of wear and tear is called erosion. Tooth erosion is a creeping process that is not easily repaired. It’s not just about how many acidic products you eat and drink. The more often you do this and the longer you keep acidic products in your mouth, the greater the risk of tooth erosion. The way you eat and drink is also affected. When tooth erosion is not controlled, acids can dissolve tooth enamel and then even the exposed dentin. Water without soda, coffee and plain tea without sugar are not harmful to your teeth.

Prepare your child well if the dentist needs to fill a cavity. At a quiet moment, explain that one or more teeth are diseased. Tell the dentist to make the sick tooth better. Let the dentist himself tell your child what will happen. Does your child have questions about treatment? Then agree to ask the dentist these together. If you portray the treatment in advance as more wonderful than it really is, your child will lose confidence in you and the dentist. Moreover, your son or daughter will look forward to treatment more in the future.

Sabbing on a baby bottle with fruit juice, syrup, drinking yogurt and other milk products, for example, can affect teeth. Because the teeth are in contact with sugars for long periods of time, there is a high risk of developing so-called baby bottle caries. At night, saliva can hardly recover the acid attacks on teeth. So in the evening and at night, a baby bottle is especially harmful. Starting at nine months, have your child drink from a cup instead of from a feeding bottle.

It is common for the new “white” filling to cause irritation. This is due to expansion and contraction of the filler material and the underlying etch layer. These may put extra tension and pressure on the element or nerve. This irritation may persist for several weeks, but should gradually subside. If the irritation has not subsided after a month, please feel free to call. Irritation can further be caused if the dentist has had to drill deep and touch the nerve. This can cause irritation well beyond the treatment. This irritation should also subside over time. Another reason of the irritation can be if the filling is still too high and it causes extra pressure on the element/jaw. The best thing to do then is to have the dentist look at it.