Many people experience fear or anxiety when getting a cavity filled. Their mind goes straight to drills, pressure and imagined pain. These are all things of the past, as dental filling procedures have greatly advanced in recent years. Gone are the days of an excruciating day at the dentist just to fill a cavity. Still, knowing what to expect during a dental filling goes a long way to reducing stress and anxiety. If you know what to expect, preparing for a dental filling will be anxiety-free.
What Are the Most Common Dental Fillings?
Many people wonder what tools and materials are used during their dental filling procedure to fix their cavity. Simply defined, a filling is anything used to fill a cavity after the decay has been removed. The most common materials used at a dental filling procedure are:
- Composite resin
Gold, over the years has become a less common filling option for cavities. It was historically used widely in dentistry. However, it is costly and challenging to work with. Thus, fewer dentists now use it as their go-to method.
Two more common materials are ionomer and composite resin. Ionomer resin is used for cavities that appear between teeth, or small cavities. It is a synthetic, tooth-colored material. Some varieties of ionomer resin release fluoride over time, which boosts protection against future cavities. Meanwhile, composite resin is another synthetic substance that hardens into a color and texture similar to natural teeth. It is much more cost-effective than gold and blends in better with teeth.
What Makes Preparing for a Dental Filling Procedure Necessary?
Cavities are incredibly common dental issues. They are essentially holes in the surface of teeth that develop over time due to tooth decay. Often, cavities can be avoided or pushed off by proper dental hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing are key to maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Even among people who brush, floss, and visit their dentist regularly, cavities are still possible. Each person’s biology is different and what a person eats and drinks also influences their chances of developing cavities. Food and drinks that are high in sugar or acidity are more likely to wear teeth down.
Failing to fill cavities promptly when they appear can result in more challenging oral issues, such as abscesses. These are oral infections that ultimately can lead to tooth loss. Dental filling procedures are critical to stopping cavities in their tracks. Most fillings last a many years before needing replacement or upkeep. Your dentist will monitor the fillings during your regular dental visits.
What to Expect During a Dental Filling at Columbia Smiles
Dental filling procedures start by numbing the area around the affected tooth. This ensures the process is painless and causes zero distress. Once the area is numb, your dentist will drill out the decayed area and then insert the filling. The whole process takes a very short time.
After the procedure, you can expect numbness to persist for a few hours. It is recommended that you avoid temperature extremes when eating and drinking, as the area may remain sensitive for some time. The sensitivity typically lasts a few days. Some dentists recommend special toothpaste to alleviate sensitivity following a dental filling procedure.
Contact Columbia Smiles Today
Knowing what to expect during a dental filling hopefully resolves the anxiety you may feel about your dental visit. If you are preparing for a dental filling procedure, put your teeth in the trusted hands of Dr. Parisa Parizadeh and Dr. Michael Hsu. Reach out to schedule a dental appointment at 410.690.4855.