Dental fillings are a common procedure for most people with broken or decayed teeth. Many people do not know just what the procedure involves, leaving them hesitant about treatment and concerned about the process.
The process is often quick and painless, with different options available depending on the extent of the decay and preferences of the patient.
A Dentist will determine your need for fillings based on the extent of the decay or cracks. This can be determined by simple observation, but most often confirmed with the use of cavity detecting dye and x-rays.
To begin the procedure, the Dentist will give the patient anesthetic if desired by the patient and deemed necessary. First, the decay will be removed using a specialized drill or laser depending on the size of the area to be removed. After the affected parts are removed, the Dentist will then shape the resulting cavity depending on the fillings to be applied.
The remaining area will now be cleaned and all bacteria removed, to ensure the cavity is completely free of anything that could cause further damage. The area will also be dried completely to ensure the fillings will stick properly. For cavities that edge too close to the root nerves, composite resin or a special glass may be placed in the area before filling to avoid contact with the nerve, and prevent any future pain.
The fillings are then applied to the cavity, shaped and polished. Other procedures performed include hardening the layers of filling with a special bright light and trimming excess materials to ensure the teeth are level.
Teeth fillings help prevent long-term inconveniences such as pain and continued decay or cracking. In the short term, a patient may find the area sensitive to cold, air sweet taste and pressure. These side effects are completely normal, and will gradually fade after several weeks. Prolonged side effects, however, could be the sign of an underlying problem and it is important to alert your Dentist to any potential issues, to prevent any damage and to ensure your comfort.
Caring for the fillings
While most fillings are very durable, there is the potential for wear and tear over time. This can be delayed through proper care and maintenance measures such as regular brushing, and avoiding destructive habits such as grinding or biting sharp objects.
Fillings are the best way to manage pain and discomfort associated with cavities and cracks and will ensure your ongoing dental health.