Let’s face it, no one wants to hear their dentist say, “You need a filling.” While most people have had a cavity at some point during their lives, for others it may be their first time.
Dental fillings may look and sound intimidating, but they are a short, simple, and painless procedure. The purpose of a filling is to remove any tooth decay in your enamel and replace it with a special filling material.
If you’re getting your first dental filling, you’ll want to know what to expect.
Read this guide to learn about the stages of a dental filling procedure.
1. Numbing Your Mouth
First, your dentist will use a local anesthetic like novocaine or lidocaine to keep your mouth numb throughout the dental cavity filling. This is injected into the gums with a needle and may slightly pinch upon administration.
After around 5 minutes, your mouth will feel completely numb, so you will not feel any pain when the dental filling procedure happens.
2. Drilling The Cavity
After your mouth is numb, your dentist will start the procedure. A drill will typically be used, however, some dentists use a laser which wouldn’t even require any anesthetic.
If your dentist is using a drill, they will first use a high-speed one to cut through the tooth and a slower drill to remove the decay itself.
You should not feel any pain during the drilling process, although you may feel discomfort from the loud noise of the drill and feel pressure on the enamel.
3. Filling The Cavity
Once the decay is removed from the tooth, your dentist will then clean the enamel with an acid gel to make sure it is properly sterilized. Afterward, your dentist will need to fill the cavity.
Your dentist will then use adhesive materials surrounding the area of the tooth and fill the cavity with a filling material such as composite or porcelain.
To seal and harden the filling, your dentist will use a bonding light for around 5-20 seconds.
4. Shaping And Polishing The Tooth
Finally, your dentist will shape and polish the tooth using special tools. You will be asked to bite down a few times to ensure the filling feels natural and comfortable, just like your regular tooth.
After this, your procedure is complete. Though, depending on the type of dental filling, you may need to come back for a follow-up appointment.
Your mouth will probably feel numb for a few hours after your appointment which can make eating, drinking, and speaking difficult.
For more information, check out this Complete Guide to Dental Fillings.
The Procedure Of Dental Fillings
This guide walked you through the procedure of dental fillings. Remember, a dental filling is not something to get scared of and the procedure is simple and routine.
That being said, it’s very important to prevent cavities and avoid these dental fillings altogether.
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