If you have cavities and are scheduled to get dental fillings, it may help to know what to expect during the procedure so that you can prepare accordingly. Cavities are common, and a visit to the dentist is important once you notice the signs. Postponing treatment may worsen the condition and cause complications.
Dental fillings procedure
Getting dental fillings usually involves four basic steps. The following describes what to expect before, during and after the procedure:
The dentist checks the tooth to assess the extent of the cavity. They may apply a dye that reveals areas of decay. This process is painless and straightforward. An X-ray scan may also be suggested. Knowing the extent of decay will help the dentist decide the treatment approach for the dental restoration process.
Because the treatment is non-invasive, there is very little that patients need to do to prepare for the procedure. They should brush their teeth as usual before visiting the dental office. The total time required for the treatment itself depends on the extent of the damage and the number of teeth affected. It usually takes less than an hour to complete a single filling.
To minimize pain, the dentist administers local anesthesia, numbing the affected tooth and the surrounding area. Patients who suffer from severe dental anxiety may need to be sedated fully. A simple filling is minimally painful. The anesthesia should be enough to make the treatment easy and comfortable for virtually all patients.
After numbing the area, the dentist uses a dental tool to remove the decay. Following that, they use water to clean the tooth thoroughly. In some instances, a laser may be used to eliminate decayed or damaged portions of the tooth. After that, the dentist uses a gel to clean the tooth and get rid of any existing debris or bacteria.
After the tooth is clean, it is ready for the filling. Depending on the condition of the tooth and the patient’s preferences, the dentist may use composite, porcelain or amalgam material to fill the tooth. First, an adhesive is rubbed over the tooth to help the filling material stay in place. If composite is used, it will be applied to the gap left by the decay. A special device will help to harden the material. The dentist builds up the tooth with this process and seals the tooth to prevent damages or bacterial invasion.
After applying the fillings, the dentist smooths the tooth's edges and polishes it to make the filling look and feel normal. They will then check to see if the filling aligns with the rest of the teeth properly.
After receiving dental fillings, patients must practice excellent oral hygiene, which includes brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups. The fillings may be strong, but they are still vulnerable to damages. With proper care, dental fillings can last a long time before needing replacement. If a filling breaks or chips, another visit to the dentist is necessary for repairs. The same applies if a filling seem to be loosening from its tooth.
If you notice any signs of a cavity, it is advisable to visit the dentist for a dental filling. The entire procedure is quick and easy, and it will protect the tooth from further damage.
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