Fillings are a common restorative dental procedure that involves removing the decayed portion of a tooth and filling the resulting cavity with a dental filling material.
The Dental Filling Procedure
Numbing the Tooth
The dentist will begin by administering a local anesthetic to numb the area around the affected tooth. This step eliminates the discomfort or pain during the procedure.
Removing the Decay
Once the tooth is numb, the dentist will use a dental drill or laser to remove the decayed portion of the tooth if decay is present. This will leave a hole or cavity in the tooth.
Cleaning the Cavity
After the decay has been removed, the dentist will clean the cavity to ensure that all debris and bacteria have been removed.
Applying the Filling Material
The dentist will then fill the cavity with a dental filling material, which is typically a composite resin material. The filling material is placed in layers and cured with a special light to harden it. There are different types of filling materials, including
- Composite fillings: These fillings are made of a mixture of glass or quartz filler and a resin material. They are tooth-colored and can be matched to the shade of your natural teeth.
- Amalgam fillings: These fillings are made of a mixture of metals, including silver, tin, copper, and mercury. They are strong and durable but are more noticeable and less aesthetically pleasing than composite fillings.
- Gold fillings: These fillings are made of a gold alloy and are strong and long-lasting. They are also more expensive than other filling materials and may require multiple visits to the dentist.
- Ceramic fillings: These fillings are made of porcelain or a type of ceramic material. They are tooth-colored and can be matched to the shade of your natural teeth. They are more expensive than other filling materials but are strong, durable, and long-lasting.
Shaping and Polishing the Filling
Once the filling material has hardened, the dentist will shape it to match the natural contours of your tooth and polish it to give it a smooth finish.
Checking Your Bite
Finally, the dentist will check your bite to ensure that your teeth are coming together properly and that the filling is not interfering with your bite.
After the procedure, you may experience some numbness or sensitivity in the affected area, but this should subside within a few hours. You may also be advised to avoid eating or drinking for a few hours after the procedure to allow the filling material to fully harden.
Contact your dentist to learn more about this form of restorative dentistry.Share