What are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are restorations designed to replace areas of a tooth that have decayed. Tooth decay is one of the most common dental conditions in the world. Left untreated, the decay can get worse, eventually affecting the entire tooth and its inner pulp (nerve). Before the decay gets this bad, it’s removed easily from the tooth and a tooth-colored composite filling is placed.
Why would Dental Fillings be needed?
The most common reason for needing a filling is because you have one or more cavities. The best way to prevent a cavity from forming is with proper oral hygiene and a healthy diet. Unfortunately, some patients are more prone to the development of tooth decay and in some cases, decay can form underneath restorations. Fillings are necessary in restoring a tooth once the decay has been removed.
Who is a candidate for a Dental Filling?
To determine if you might need a filling, we will perform a dental examination. This involves using a dental instrument, known as an explorer, to scrape the surface of each tooth. Areas of decay are often soft and even “sticky”, which causes the explorer to essentially get stuck. If you need a filling, it’s important to have it placed as soon as possible to prevent that cavity from getting worse.
What happens during the Dental Filling process?
The filling procedure will begin with anesthetic that is used to numb one area of the mouth. The decay is then carefully removed from the tooth. The small hole that is left behind is prepped for the composite filling by applying a bonding agent. The composite filling is then placed and smoothed out. We cure the new filling with a special light that hardens it into place. Your new composite filling will last for about a decade or longer before it may need to be replaced. You may even want to replace older amalgam (silver) fillings with composite, which can be done easily in our office.
If you think you might need a filling or want to learn more about the procedure, call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled team members.