close up of straight teeth at dental filling appointment

Restorations (Dental Fillings)

Restorations, or dental fillings, are commonly used to treat areas of tooth decay (cavities). Why are dental fillings done? When a tooth begins to decay, a small hole can form in the tooth’s surface, causing a cavity. If this is not treated, the cavity will continue to progress and worsen, causing further complications such as tooth pain/sensitivity, dental abscess, and/or tooth fracture.

Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth, often caused by trauma to the area or extensive wear.

Symptoms of Cavities

The signs of cavities vary depending on the location and severity. Cavities can be difficult to self-diagnose in the early stages, as you may not experience any symptoms. However, as the tooth decay progresses, you may notice signs and symptoms such as:

  • Toothaches or spontaneous pain
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Pain when eating or drinking
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drink
  • Visible holes or pits in the surface of the tooth
  • Staining of the tooth’s surface (brown, black, yellow, or white)
  • Pain when biting down
woman at dentist being checked for cavities

Diagnosing Cavities

Regular cleanings with one of our dental hygienists paired with a dental exam by the dentist can help prevent and diagnose cavities. We can properly detect tooth decay by:

  • Discussing symptoms

    Your dental hygienist and dentist will work closely with you to identify areas of concern. Symptoms such as tooth pain and increased sensitivity should be relayed to your dentist.

  • Examination

    After your hygienist has performed thorough dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup, the dentist will exam your mouth and teeth to identify any areas of concern.

  • Taking x-rays

    If needed, your hygienist/dentist will take and examine dental X-rays. Depending on the type of xray, this can identify areas of decay in between the teeth as well as indicate its severity.

Treatment of Cavities

Regular dental check-ups can help diagnose cavities in the early stages, before painful symptoms arise. Furthermore, early diagnoses of cavities can prevent more serious complications and reverse early stages of tooth decay. Should a cavity be identified, the dentist will provide an individualized treatment plan depending on the severity of your case. Common treatment options include:

woman getting a fluoride treatment at dentist

1. Fluoride Treatments

If your cavity is caught in the early stages, fluoride treatment, in combination with proper home care, can arrest the cavity’s progression, preventing the need for more invasive treatment. These professional treatments include a more concentrated dose of fluoride than toothpastes and mouthwashes do. Made in gel, foam, or a varnish consistency, your hygienist will brush the fluoride onto your teeth for an allotted amount of time.

close up animation of white fillings

2. Fillings

The most common method to treat cavities are fillings, also known as restorations. To start, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area surrounding the tooth, making your restoration a pain-free experience. Following this, your dentist will remove the decayed portion of your tooth. Lastly, your dentist will fill the area. Fillings can be made in a variety of materials, however, popular ones include:

  • Amalgam, which is made from a mixture of silver, tin, and other metals.
  • Composite resin, which is a tooth-coloured filling.
  • Glass Ionomers is also tooth-coloured but is used for areas that are more challenging to restore

picture of a woman suffering pain in need of a root canal

3. Other Treatments

Should your cavity progress to more severe stages, the dentist may recommend more extensive forms of treatment such as crowns, root canals, or tooth extractions.

Schedule a Restoration Consultation Today

Regular dental check-ups are the best way to prevent and treat tooth decay and cavity development. To book a dental check-up with our dental team, contact us at either our Salmon Arm or Sorrento location. We’ll be thrilled to serve you.

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Our Testimonials

    I recently switched to Dr Low’s dental practice and I’m so happy that I did. I came to his clinic with some specific work that needed redoing and a lot of dental anxiety. I can honestly say that I haven’t felt this comfortable in a dentist chair for a very long time. Dr Low obviously cares a great deal about his patients and the quality of the work that he does. He is gentle, attentive and thorough, and I am very happy with the care I've received. Really, everyone at the clinic has been great. Super helpful, supportive and informative. As an added bonus the actual cost of the work ended up being less than the estimate. Plus their COVID protocol includes HEPA air filtration. As a person with higher risk family members, this aspect is very important to me. I feel confident entrusting my future dental care to Dr. Low and his awesome team!

    -Andy Anderson

    I took my 8 year old son to Dr. Lows a couple of weeks ago. Dr. Low was kind, patient and very gentle. Brenda, the Hygienist, and my son had a great time during his cleaning and she was so wonderful with him. He even showed me some new brushing techniques. Huge raves to Dr. Low Family Dentistry.

    -Kristy P.

Meet Dr. Jonathan Low

dr jonathan low at dr low dental

Dr. Jonathan Low (Jon) was born and raised in Salmon Arm. Prior to attending dental school, he graduated with two degrees from the University of British Columbia: a Bachelor of Science in Cell Biology and Genetics (2004); and a Master of Science in Pharmaceutic Science (2007). He completed his Doctorate of Dental Surgery at New York University (2012) and was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society.

Jon had the privilege of practicing for two years with his father, Dr. Cedric Low, who was a well-known dentist in Salmon Arm for more than 30 years. In 2014, Jon took over the practice after his father’s passing.

Jon pursues ongoing continuing education in the form of dental study clubs, conferences, and discipline-focused dental courses.

Outside the office he enjoys spending time with his wife, Sarb, travelling, skiing, discussions about cars, and working out at the gym.


Dr. Jonathan Low Family Dentistry

(250) 832-2202
320 Ross Street NE,
Salmon Arm, BC
V1E 2T3

Sorrento Dental Clinic - Dr. Jonathan Low

(250) 675-4116
1223 Trans-Canada Highway,
Sorrento, BC
V0E 2W0

Schedule a Consultation Today

Regular dental check-ups are the best way to prevent and treat tooth decay and cavity development. To book a dental check-up with our dental team, contact us at either our Salmon Arm or Sorrento location. We’ll be thrilled to serve you.

Get In Touch
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