Cavities are one of the most common tooth problems. Even sticking to a regular, quality dental hygiene routine does not guarantee you will avoid cavities forever. As a result, dental fillings are the fix to cavities. They do precisely what their name indicates. They fill a cavity to halt the decay in that tooth. Dental fillings are a procedure that produces fear and anxiety in a lot of people. However, they are often minimally painful and usually straightforward. Understanding what cavity fillings are and what to expect when receiving a filling often reduces anxiety about the procedure.
What Are Dental Fillings?
Even before describing what to expect from dental fillings, it’s worth outlining what they are. Simply put, dental fillings are a substance used to repair teeth by filling the gap left by a cavity. Common materials used in the creation of dental fillings are:
- Silver amalgams
- Resin composites
- Ceramics or porcelain
- Glass ionomer
A very common dental filling is resin, which is created using a combination of glass and plastic. Resin is designed to look and feel similar to teeth, which makes it one of the less noticeable types of cavity fillings. Each type of dental filling brings its own advantages and disadvantages. The team at Columbia Smiles can help you figure out which dental filling makes the most sense for your particular cavity.
What to Expect During Dental Fillings
Getting fillings for cavities doesn’t have to be stressful. Explore the five steps involved in getting cavity fillings to ensure you know what to expect during your next dental visit.
Cavities are often discovered during a routine dental check-up. It’s also possible to know you have a cavity as a result of tooth pain or discomfort. Either way, the first step is always an examination of the cavity site. The dentist will gauge the extent of the tooth decay, sometimes applying a dye to the area to highlight the decay. They may also conduct an x-ray to get the clearest possible picture of what needs to be addressed.
After the examination comes the preparation stage. Cavity fillings are noninvasive and can be done on the spot during a typical dental check-up. Thus, they require little preparation. If you know you are visiting the dentist to receive a filling, you should brush your teeth ahead of time to help prepare the site.
3. Anesthesia and Decay Removal
Before the dental filling is applied, the dentist will numb the site using local anesthesia. The presence of anesthesia makes the process of getting fillings for cavities basically painless. Once the anesthesia has sufficiently numbed the area, the dentist will excavate the decayed area. After removing the decay, the area is flushed with water to leave a clean slate for the dental filling to be inserted. The dentist may also do more intricate cleaning to ensure debris and bacteria are eliminated before the filling is applied.
4. Dental Filling
Once the site is ready for the filling, an adhesive is applied. This ensures the filling will bond where it is needed and not come loose. Then, the composite resin or other substance is applied to the gap in the tooth. Once the dental filling is inserted, the dentist will smooth and polish the filling so that it feels natural in the mouth and fits the original tooth shape.
Dental fillings are strong and long-lasting. However, that does not mean they are impervious. Practicing good oral hygiene is paramount for getting the most out of your current dental fillings. It is also key to making sure you need fewer fillings for cavities in the future.
Get Cavity Fillings at Columbia Smiles
Columbia Smiles is a leading provider of dental care with deep experience in making dental fillings a relaxed, simple process for our patients. Trust your oral healthcare to Columbia Smiles by calling 410.690.4855 to set up an appointment today.