Category Archives: cavities-before/after

Cavities of the day

This patient is a 47 year old man who used to drink a lot of Coke and eat lots of M&M’s. He had extensive decay along the gum line and extending under his gums on all his back teeth. These photos are of his upper right and left quadrant teeth before and immediately after. I was able to restore all these teeth without gum surgery or root canals. And his smile looks so much better now.


Cavity of the day

This patient is a 26 year old woman who uses an Advair asthma inhaler. The inhaler causes dry mouth which allowed these cavities to form. If you use an inhaler always rinse out with water after and brush your teeth as soon as you can following inhaler use. Make sure to see your dentist regularly to check for tooth decay. The cavity in the last molar was to the nerve. I was able to avoid a root canal by placing a vitrebond pulp cap over the exposed nerve and a ceramic composite restoration to restore the tooth. Looks great!!!


filling of the day

These photos are of a 30 year old lady with a large cavity in her last upper molar. I was able to save the tooth and restore it with a bonded composite restoration without a root canal in 30 minutes. The procedure was totally painless and she was very pleased and had no discomfort after. The tooth will require a porcelain crown in the future.



Dr. Gentry’s article in The Elm, The University of Maryland

The University of Maryland


Tips for Your Teeth: Halloween Edition

Tips for Healthy Teeth

  • Eat Halloween candy right after meals. The saliva produced during meals will help dilute the acids produced by the mouth bacteria in response to the sugar and the saliva will help rinse away food particles.
  • Avoid candy that lasts a long time. It’s the length of time the sugar is in your mouth that is the critical factor. The longer the candy is in the mouth the more damage to the teeth.
  • Stay away from sticky candy. The longer the sugary candy is stuck to the teeth the more decay will occur. Stay away from gummy bears, sticky fudge and taffy. Stay away from sour candy. Sour candy is highly acidic leading to erosion of enamel.
  • Drink more water. Tap water with fluoride is best. This will help wash away the candy.
  • Eat good healthy foods and don’t fill up on sugary candy. You need good nutrition for healthy teeth and gums.
  • Stay away from sodas and sports drinks. The frequent contact with the sugary liquid will increase damage to teeth.
  • Chewing sugarless gum after eating candy will cause increased saliva production, which will neutralize the acid in the mouth and wash away food.
  • Brush as soon as possible after eating. If you ate sour or acidic foods rinse with water a few times first to neutralize the acid so not to push the acid into the enamel. Brush for two minutes.
  • Floss! Flossing removes plaque and food stuck between the teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach.Happy Halloween
  • Visit your dentist regularly to catch dental problems early, and “treat” them before they get really scary. … Remember good oral health is a major contributor to good overall health.

by Philip A. Gentry, DDS, FAGD
Fellow, Academy of General Dentistry
Dean’s Faculty, Clinical Asst. Professor, Department of General Dentistry, Advanced Education in General Dentistry,
University of Maryland School of Dentistry

Halloween treats that Dr. Gentry hands out to trick or treaters

Dr Gentry explains how sugar causes cavities and that it’s okay to enjoy a few scrumptious desserts over the holidays.


It is true that sugar does cause cavities, but it’s not the sugar directly. The naturally occurring streptococcus bacteria that live in our mouths consume the sugar, ferment it, and produce acid such as lactic acid. It is these acids that cause teeth demineralization and the formation of cavities. So it is actually the acid from the bacteria in plaque in our mouth that eats the holes in our teeth causing cavities.


Here’s the interesting part, it’s not the total amount of sugar we eat, but the total amount of time the sugar is in contact with our teeth. It is preferable to have a piece of pumpkin pie with a scoop of ice cream for Thanksgiving dessert, than sip on a soda all afternoon. It is better to have a few sugar cookies, or slice of Christmas apple pie, than to repeatedly sip coffee with sugar all morning long. One Altoids mint or cough drop per hour throughout the day is ten times more cavity producing than 1 big piece of cake for dessert, even though the cake has much more sugar and calories.

The repeated cycles of eating sugar and acid formation is what is the key. It is the frequency, or the amount of time the sugar is in the mouth, not the total amount of sugar. So do enjoy a few scrumptious (and quick) holiday desserts, just please make sure to brush and floss after every meal and visit your dentist regularly. Happy Holidays!!!

Philip A. Gentry, DDS, FAGD

Article published in The Elm, The University of Maryland

Restoration of a large carious lesions using the Garrison Interproximal Matrix System

When deep decay that is close to the tooth pulp is present in a tooth, many times it requires a root canal. In this 35 year old patient, Dr. Gentry restores her upper bicuspid tooth without a root canal or crown. Gentry cleans out the decay, places a Vitrabond glass ionomer pulp cap, and places a Herculite composite restoration, using the Garrison Matrix System.












3D XR Ring





Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities, also called tooth decay or caries, are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks, and not cleaning your teeth well. Cavities and tooth decay are among the world’s most common health problems.

If cavities aren’t treated, they get larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth. They can lead to severe toothache, infection and tooth loss. Regular dental visits and good brushing and flossing habits are your best protection against cavities and tooth decay.

dental decay process

Some examples of Dr. Gentry fixing  patient’s dental cavities:

Decay, upper back molar
Decay cleaned out
Composite restoration placed
Decayed premolar tooth
Opened up to reveal deep decay
Decay removed
Matrix band placed
Finished restorations
Decay on sides of teeth extending under the gums
Decay removed and teeth restored