What are Dental Fillings?
A filling is a type of dental restoration that is meant to replace an area within one or more teeth that has become decayed. Tooth decay is typically caused by poor oral hygiene and a poor diet. When decay is allowed to infiltrate a tooth, it eventually gets severe enough to affect the pulp. Before the decay goes deeper into the tooth, it is carefully removed and a tooth-colored composite filling is placed.
Why are Dental Fillings needed?
The reason most patients need fillings is because they have one or more cavities. Tooth decay is incredibly common and can affect patients of all ages. Before the cavity gets severe enough to warrant a root canal, the tooth is essentially cleaned of decay and a filling placed to restore the size and shape of the tooth. Fillings can last for several years before needing to be replaced.
Who is a candidate for Dental Fillings?
Unfortunately, many smaller cavities do not cause any symptoms that would alert you of a problem. In order to determine if a filling is needed, we will perform an examination. The exam is done using an instrument known as a dental explorer, which scrapes the surface of the teeth to look for softer or “stickier” areas that would signal decay. In some cases, we will need to take x-rays to spot hard-to-find cavities.
What happens during the Dental Filling procedure?
The filling procedure requires anesthetic to numb a specific area of the mouth. We carefully remove the decay from the tooth. The hole is then cleaned and prepped for the filling by adding an etching gel that is washed away. The composite resin filling is poured and placed inside of this small hole and cured with a special dental light. If multiple fillings are needed, we can place them at the same appointment or discuss having you come in for additional treatment.
If you would like to learn more about fillings, call our office today and one of our team members will be happy to assist you.