Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ve probably had a dental filling once or twice in your life. Relatively speaking, it is one of the fastest dental procedures, although it might not feel like it while you’re sitting in that chair.
Patients who can follow along with the steps involved in a dental filling procedure as they are happening, however, can feel better in knowing that the work will end soon.
8 Basic Steps of a Dental Filling
Following is what you can expect if you are having a tooth filled:
- The area around the affected tooth will be numbed up, usually with the use or a topical anesthetic and/or a shot in the gums or inside of the cheek. A thin needle is used for the shot, and it contains a numbing agent such as lidocaine. The needle may be inserted in several different areas around the tooth, but the process only takes about one minute and is relatively painless.
- The dentist will wait several minutes until the area is numb.
- A drill or laser will be used to remove the damaged areas of the tooth.
- A gel will be used to clean the area afterward.
- The filling material will be applied to fill the tooth.
- Adhesives and composite material will be placed on top of the tooth to protect and seal it.
- A bonding light may be used for several seconds to harden the material.
- The dentist will smooth out any rough edges and polish the tooth.
Why a Filling May be Required
A few issues may lead to the need for a tooth filling, including decay, a break or chip, or the need to replace an older filling.
Some signs that you may need a filling include:
- Tooth sensitivity while consuming hot or cold foods or drinks
- A visible black hole in your tooth
- A general toothache
- Difficulty when flossing due to the thread shredding or becoming stuck in between your teeth
We know you’ve heard this repeatedly for most of your life, but it can’t be said enough. In order to help prevent tooth decay, brush your teeth for 2 minutes 2 times a day, ideally in the morning and before bedtime. You also should floss daily and have your teeth professionally examined and cleaned twice a year.
If you’re due for a cleaning, schedule an appointment today to visit our dentist and hygienist in Grosse Pointe.