Types of Dental Fillings: What to Expect

Jan 01, 2021

Cavities on your teeth are a cause for concern because it indicates you are not maintaining your dental hygiene appropriately. However, treatments are available from dentists who provide a cavity filling by removing the decay in your tooth and restoring it. The dentist offers you different types of fillings ranging from resin, gold, ceramics, amalgam, and ionomers.

Do not think for a moment you are getting a permanent tooth filling. The above materials will undoubtedly serve you for a length of time but will need replacements eventually. The best way to prevent cavities from developing is to avoid plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth, which results in tooth decay and the formation of cavities. If you do not care for your teeth as recommended by your dentist and attend regular appointments for cleanings and exams, the problem of holes will continue to haunt you. Therefore getting the fillings is just a temporary measure lasting for a few years but needing replacements eventually.

What Can You Expect When Getting Cavity Fillings?

Cavity filling procedures are relatively easy and performed in the dentist’s office in about an hour, although they appear daunting. You must schedule an appointment, prepare yourself for dental x-rays, and listen to the process before the dentist performs the filling.

Before beginning the filling procedure, your dentist numbs your teeth, gums, and the surrounding plain with local anesthesia to ensure you are comfortable during the process. You can expect the numbing procedure not to cause any discomfort because a topical anesthetic is applied initially before the local anesthetic is injected into your gums. If you get overly anxious, the dentist also provides laughing gas or nitrous oxide to relax you.

Your dentist will place a rubber dam in your mouth for easy access to the affected tooth. The rubber dam prevents any liquid or tooth chips from entering your mouth or throat during the procedure.

The Cavity Cleaning Process

After your tooth is entirely numb, the dentist will perform the scariest portion of the cavity filling procedure. They will drill out the decayed material in the tooth using a drill, laser, or other tools. This part undoubtedly sounds scary and painful, but the anesthesia and topical medications will significantly reduce the pain.

After your tooth is entirely free of decay, the dentist proceeds to clean the tooth carefully to ensure no bacteria or debris are left behind. The tooth is disinfected and prepared for the final part of the procedure, which is the filling.

The Cavity Filling

The drilling and removing of the decayed material create a hollow space in the tooth that cannot be left open. Your dentist will fill the vacant space using one of the materials discussed earlier to prevent further bacterial buildup in the area and to protect your tooth from further decay.

If the cavity is on your molars, you are recommended for amalgam fillings that are durable and last for many years. Amalgam fillings don’t require excessive removal of tooth structure and are long-lasting. However, they are visible whenever you laugh and will appear ungainly in your mouth.

If you have a cavity on a front tooth, the dentist recommends tooth-colored composite resin fillings to ensure the aesthetic zone of your smile is not affected. The decision of which type of dental fillings you want is entirely at your discretion. Still, the dentist considers the location of the tooth, the biting pressures the tooth must sustain, and your aesthetic requirements before making any recommendations.

After filling the cavity, the dentist files and smooths the tooth to ensure it does not affect your chewing. The process requires a few minutes, leaving you ready to walk away from the dentist’s office.

You will experience numbness in your mouth for a couple of hours after the procedure until the anesthesia wears off. You are advised not to chew with the filled tooth or eat hot foods to ensure you do not injure yourself. Your tooth will remain sensitive to hot and cold temperatures for a week or several days after the procedure. However, the sensitivity will disappear by itself.

Cavity filling procedures are relatively easy and do not pose any significant risks. However, beautiful smiles family dentistry recommends that you stay in touch with Dr. Shana François if you experience any complications or have inquiries. They will be happy to address your concerns anytime you call them with questions. However, you must ensure you follow every recommendation of the dentist without exceptions.

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