Getting a dental filling is one of the most common oral health treatments people require. It’s understandable to be nervous, especially if you’re worried about being in pain. Fortunately, the process of placing a filling is relatively simple, and, with local anesthetics, you won’t experience any discomfort, either. Here’s what you can expect from a dental filling.
The Process of Getting a Dental Filling
1. Taking the Exam & X-Ray
Before your dentist can treat tooth decay, they will perform a thorough exam of your teeth and gums. Additionally, they will take X-rays to locate any cavities that are not visible to the naked eye, such as tooth decay hidden between teeth. X-rays also help determine the size and severity of a cavity.
2. Getting an Anesthetic
Cavities may be painful, but getting a filling doesn’t need to be. Your dentist will use a topical numbing agent and syringe to apply an anesthetic to numb the area surrounding the affected tooth. Your dentist won’t begin to work on your tooth until they know you won’t feel any pain.
3. Removing Decay
Your dentist has drills of various sizes to remove the decayed portion of your tooth. This step may take some time, depending on how much tooth decay you have. Your dentist will then completely clean out the tooth before moving on to the next step.
4. Adding the Filling
After the decay has been cleaned out, your dentist will use a tooth-colored composite filling to restore your tooth to its original shape and color. The material is placed directly onto the tooth, after which it may take a few minutes to cure and bond.
5. Polishing the Bite
The final step is to polish the tooth to ensure it feels smooth. Your dentist may also adjust the height of the filling to make sure your teeth are biting together properly. If necessary, your dentist can also make adjustments later if you notice you’re not biting normally after the anesthetic wears off.
If you think you need a dental filling, trust the office of Paulomi R. Desai, DDS, of Aesthetic Dentistry of Howard County, LLC. Give them call at (410) 997-0555 to schedule an appointment for an exam. This family dentist in Columbia, MD, also offers cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as teeth whitening and veneers. Visit their website to find out more information about the services they offer.