If your dentist suggests a dental filling, it is likely that you have some form of tooth decay. Dental fillings help restore your teeth before tooth decay becomes a significant problem. Dentists use dental fillings nearly every day. It is a standard, simple procedure that can prevent severe damage to your teeth.
Tooth decay is a permanently damaged area of the tooth. Typically, the decay begins as small pits or cavities on the surface of your teeth. The main contributor to tooth decay is plaque, a type of harmful bacteria. Plaque consumes leftover food particles and sugars to create acid. This acid slowly destroys your enamel, which is the protective layer on your teeth.
Initially, cavities look like discolored areas on your teeth. You may not feel pain or sensitivity until they get worse. However, extreme temperatures and sugar can cause discomfort as cavities progress. Therefore, it is essential that you seek professional dental care because cavities can cause serious issues.
Advanced tooth decay can cause infection, soft tissue damage, bone deterioration, or tooth loss.
What Is A Dental Filling?
A dental filling is what dentists use to provide structure to your teeth. After they remove the decay, the tooth needs support. Without a filling, the tooth may crumble or chip quickly. Therefore, dentists utilize dental fillings.
There are many different materials for dental fillings. One of the most common fillings is a tooth-colored composite resin. Unlike some other dental fillings, composite resin blends with the rest of your natural tooth. This makes it look like you never had a cavity in the first place.
You may prefer a metal filling, such as gold or silver amalgam. Metal fillings last longer than composite fillings. However, your dentist may need to remove more of your natural tooth to fit the filling.
What Is The Dental Filling Process?
Before your dentist begins the filling process, they will take an x-ray of your mouth. This allows them to see the extent of the decay. Therefore, they can make a plan of action.
First, your dentist will numb the area using a local anesthetic. This will ensure that you are comfortable during your entire procedure. With the anesthetic, you won’t be able to feel any part of the filling process.
Using a high-powered drill, your dentist will remove all of the decay in your tooth. Next, they will flush the area and thoroughly clean it. This ensures that there are no remaining bacteria underneath the filling. If there are bacteria present, you can develop an infection or further tooth decay.
Once the decay is gone, you will receive a dental filling. This helps provide structure to your tooth. If you get a composite filling, your dentist will need to cure the resin with a special light. This will harden the material.