Dental fillings are one of the most common dental procedures. A filling is needed when a tooth begins to decay, and the bacteria in the mouth creates an infection and hole in the tooth. This is called a cavity, and treating it with a filling will prevent more decay from forming in the same area of that tooth. Here is what you can expect for your dental filling process:
- Exam: The first step towards a dental filling is your exam. A dentist will examine your teeth and gums and take x-rays to find any issues that you may be experiencing. X-rays allow dentists to see areas of the tooth that are not visible to the naked eye, and this will allow your dentist to see exactly where cavities have developed in your teeth.
- Anesthetic: Your dentist will then use an anesthetic to numb the area around the affected tooth. This ensures that you won't experience any pain during the actual procedure. This will commonly be a combination of a topical numbing agent and a shot applied to the affected area.
- Removing the decay: Before actually filling the tooth, your dentist will remove all of the decay that has formed, and completely clean the tooth. This is typically where a dental drill comes into play, however, you shouldn't feel anything during this process if your anesthetic is working properly. Your dentist may switch to a more refined drill as well, which is slower and helps to fully clean the tooth.
- Filling the tooth: The next step is for your dentist to fill the space where the decay had formed with a filling. There are many options for the material being used to fill your tooth, but tooth-colored composite fillings are the most common option today. Your dentist will use a combination of bonding agents in addition to the filling material and will place it directly on your tooth or onto a metal instrument and then onto your tooth. Last, the filling may need to be cured using a handheld tool for a few seconds after it has been placed.
- Polishing and bite: After the tooth has been filled and cured, your dentist will polish the area so that it feels nice and smooth, like the rest of your teeth, and they will check your bite and make any adjustments needed. You want to make sure that your teeth feel normal when you close them, and that there are no little bits of filling that stick up and put your teeth in an abnormal position.
Fillings Springfield IL
If you have any questions about dental fillings, or if you'd like to schedule a consultation with our dentist, give us a call today for more information on getting started! We look forward to helping you get a healthy, happy smile!