What Happens When You Get a Dental Filling?

Posted on: July 1, 2017

FillingIf you have a cavity, chances are that you will need to visit the dentist for a filling. In this case, most patients want to know what happens when you get a dental filling and about the overall process. Here are the basic steps in the process:

#1. Examination

When a patient comes in with tooth pain, a dentist will begin by conducting an examination and looking for signs of dental decay. These are typically soft spots that form in the tooth structure itself. A dentist will see how large the decay is and determine the necessary steps for treatment during the examination.

#2. X-rays

If the decayed portion of the tooth is large enough, there is a concern that the decay will spread into the root of the tooth. In this case, we will take X-rays or use digital imaging to determine how extensive the damage actually is. This will determine whether we need to place a filling or use a root canal procedure.

#3. The decay is removed

No matter the solution, we need to remove the decayed portion of the tooth. To do so, we will use either a dental drill or dental laser. Very carefully, we will only remove the decayed portion of the tooth so that as much of the natural tooth structure can be left intact. If too much of the tooth is decayed, we may need a dental crown instead of a filling.

#4. Tooth is cleaned

It is crucial to clean the tooth after removing the decayed portion. This should be all that is necessary to restore the health of the tooth. However, we may prescribe antibiotics as well to ensure that there are no lingering infections.

#5. Dental filling is placed and hardened

To restore the shape and functionality of the tooth, we must place a filling. The most popular type of filling is one that consists of tooth-colored resin. We can apply, shape and harden the resin using a special light in the dental chair relatively quickly. The end result is a tooth that looks completely healthy and natural, while also being fully functional.

Amalgam fillings are still placed in some dental offices and this is a composite made of several metals with a silver appearance. When the filling is being placed, the dentist will not only fill the hole but ensure that the ridges are accurate so that a patient can bite down like normal. This requires a level of precision and attention to detail that an experienced dentist has.

Learn more

To find out more about the process and how a dental filling is placed, call our clinic. We would be happy to examine your teeth and answer any questions that you may have.


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