What To Expect When Getting Dental Fillings

Dentist Blog

Dental fillings are an important part of oral health care, but many people are nervous about getting them and do not know what to expect. While a filling is a routine procedure for correcting cavities, it is common for individuals to be uninformed about this treatment option the first time they undergo it.  

When Do You Need A Filling?

Tooth decay occurs due to bacterial action on sugars from food, resulting in acid formation that breaks down tooth enamel. Signs of tooth decay include discomfort or pain when eating or drinking hot, cold, or sweet things. In cases where the cavity is advanced, you may have visible holes or pits in the teeth, chronic bad breath, or an unpleasant taste in your mouth.

A dental examination helps diagnose tooth decay after evaluating signs and symptoms. Dentists may also use X-rays for better insights into the extent of tooth damage before determining whether a filling is necessary. For example, an X-ray image can enable a dentist to assess the depth of the cavity before they begin restoration.

Timely detection and treatment help preserve your natural tooth structure while preventing complications like infections. This can also lower the cost by potentially allowing you to avoid needing a crown or other expensive treatment.

What Happens During A Filling Procedure? 

Your dentist will begin by numbing the area using local anesthesia to ensure comfort. These anesthetics are fairly fast acting, but the dentist may still need to wait several minutes or longer before they can proceed.

Your dentist will remove any decay from your tooth using instruments like drills, lasers, or air abrasion methods. The chosen filling material is then carefully applied before your dentist places and shapes the filling material to match your tooth. Finally, they will make any fine adjustments and polish the completed filling.

How Long Do Fillings Last?

The durability of dental fillings primarily depends on factors like materials used for fillings and their location.

Fillings need replacement if they are worn out or damaged due to decay around their edges. This may lead to the filling loosening. Diligent dental hygiene is essential for minimizing the risk of this issue developing.

What Are The Alternatives To Dental Fillings?

Dentists may opt against dental fillings if the tooth decay is extensive or located where biting pressure could cause it to crack. In these situations, the dentist may opt for a crown or even a total tooth restoration. During a tooth restoration, the dentist may use bonding materials to strengthen the tooth and return it to its original appearance.

Contact a dental office like Christiansen Dental to learn more. 


8 June 2023

Improving My Dental Appointments

After dealing with a few root canals, I realized that it was time to take my dental hygiene a more seriously. I talked with my dentist about what I could do differently, and he was full of great suggestions that would help. He walked me through different ways to brush, floss, and take care of tartar buildup, and it was really amazing to see the difference that it made. I also started taking a fluoride supplement to strengthen my enamel. When I made it to my next appointment, my dentist was blown away with the improvement. This blog is all about improving your dental appointments by keeping your teeth healthier.