What to Do About Tooth Decay & Cavities in Salem, OR

See a dentist today for help with your toothache.

What causes cavities?

Cavities are caused by the bacteria that live in your mouth. Bacteria feed on simple sugars and excrete acid. This acid can wear away the enamel on the outside of the tooth, leading to tooth decay and cavities. You can reduce your risk of decay by:

  • Avoiding sugary foods/drinks, sodas, juice, candy, etc.
  • Eating a healthy diet with plenty of lean protein and leafy green veggies
  • Avoiding tobacco products
  • Brushing 2x daily and flossing every day
  • Getting regular dental exams and cleanings
  • Ask your dentist about fluoride treatments

What are the symptoms of cavities?

The most common symptom of a cavity is a tooth that is sensitive to hot/cold temperatures and/or pressure (like when you chew). However, many small cavities don’t present any symptoms at all and can only be found by the team at our Salem dentist office through exams and x-rays.

Can I get an appointment today to fix my cavity?

We do offer emergency dental services at our Salem dentist office to fix toothaches and treat tooth decay. Same-day treatments are available. We’ll see you as soon as possible and help you feel better fast!

Can you make a cavity go away?

Cavities don’t go away on their own. However, small areas of decay don’t always require immediate treatment. We may “wait and see” to see how they develop before recommending a course of treatment.

How to fix a tooth cavity?

Most cavities can be fixed with a simple white filling. Unlike silver mercury fillings, white fillings look like your natural teeth and are very durable. When tooth decay is left untreated, a root canal or tooth extraction may be required. This is why it’s so important to see the dentist regularly.

Does a cavity filling hurt?

 No! A cavity filling doesn’t hurt. We make sure you are numb and comfortable before starting any treatment. Plus, your filling will actually stop the pain caused by a bad toothache. You’ll feel better fast, we promise!

How long do cavity fillings take?

A single small cavity can usually be filled in one appointment of about 30 minutes or so — remember that it’ll take a little time for you to get nice and numb. If you have several areas of decay, we can fill them all in a single visit or split them up over a few visits, whichever you’re more comfortable with.

How long do fillings last?

With proper at-home care, you can expect your dental fillings to last for years. Modern white fillings can easily last 10 years or more. However, you must maintain great at-home brushing and flossing habits as well as keep coming back to the dentist for exams and cleanings 2x a year. But of course, life does happen, and sometimes a filling can break when you bite on a piece of food or get hit in the face while playing sports.

Will dental insurance pay to fix my cavities?

Most forms of dental insurance do include some coverage for restorative procedures like fillings. If you come to Healthy Smiles Family Dental in Salem, be aware that we accept most insurances and offer a variety of flexible payment options, including CareCredit. There’s even an in-office savings plan to help you reduce the cost of your care if you don’t have insurance.

Financing & Payment Options

We offer CareCredit and discount plans through Principal and Carrington. Our office can also arrange payment plans with automatic withdrawals from your bank account.

Whether you have dental insurance or not, we’ll help you get the general dentistry treatments you want and need at a price you can afford. 

Become a patient at Healthy Smiles Family Dental

A healthier you starts right here. We’re looking forward to meeting you and your entire family. Schedule your consultation today at our Salem dentist office.

Have questions? Call (503) 315-2500. We hope to see you soon!

Our Office


4392 Liberty Rd S,
Salem OR 97302

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Monday - Thursday
7:00AM - 4:00PM