What Is a Dental Filling?
Why Might a Dental Filling Be Needed?
Once tooth decay infiltrates through the tooth enamel, it can quickly become painful and a serious tooth problem. Deep tooth decay allows bacteria inside the tooth, which can lead to a tooth infection or abscess. Dental fillings of tooth decay at the first detection of a cavity can prevent tooth infections that may require a root canal or extraction. Dental fillings can also be used to repair cracked or chipped teeth.
Who Is a Candidate for Dental Fillings?
Anyone who has a cavity or damage to their tooth may be a candidate for a dental filling procedure. Most cavities do not cause pain and are not always visible to the patient, which is why frequent dental exams are important. During routine dental exams and cleanings, our dentist will carefully inspect the teeth physically and with digital x-rays to look for signs of decay or damage to the teeth. If a dental filling is needed, it can often be performed the same day.
What Happens During the Dental Filling Process?
If you have a tooth that has a cavity, Dr. Daniels and our dental team will ensure you are comfortable before we begin your dental filling. The tooth will be numbed with a local anesthetic, and the tooth decay will be removed. Once all the damaged tooth material is gone, we can fill the hole or indent with the filling material, usually composite resin. We can match composite dental fillings to match the color of the tooth, so it blends perfectly. The resin is cured to harden within the tooth – this only takes a few minutes. Then, the surface is polished.