Everybody hates fillings, don’t they? In fact, most of us hate fillings so much that we can’t bear to think about them, talk about them, look at them or even ask our dentists about them. Most of us, when we visit the dentist for a routine check-up, will simply sit there, stare at the ceiling and hope that the dreaded ‘f’ word doesn’t crop up in conversation.
Well, the fact is that we usually will have to discuss the ‘f’ word with our dentists, because sooner or later, most of us will need a filling (even if it is just a little one). Fillings are one of the most routine dental procedures which most dentists perform every day. But because we hate fillings so much, many of us don’t know too much about them. And, there are definitely some things that you really should know about fillings.
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What Steps Are Involved in Filling a Tooth?
First, the dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth that needs to be filled.
Next, a drill and air abrasion instruments will be used to remove the decayed area.
Your dentist will then probe or test the area to determine if all the decay has been removed. Once all the decay has been removed, the dentist will prepare the space for the filling by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris. If the decay is near the root, your dentist may first put in a liner made of glass ionomer, composite resin, or other material to protect the nerve.
Once the filling has been placed, your dentist will finish and polish it.
Several additional steps are required for tooth-colored fillings and are as follows:
- After your dentist has removed the decay and cleaned the area, the tooth-colored material is applied in layers.
- A special light that “cures” or hardens each layer is then applied.
- When the multilayering process is completed, the dentist will shape the composite material to the desired result, trim off any excess material and polish the final restoration.
What Are The Advantages Of Composite (White) Fillings?
Composite fillings are preferred nowadays for the following reasons:
- Aesthetics – the shade/color of the composite fillings can be closely matched to the color of the existing tooth / teeth. Composites are particularly well suited for use in front teeth or visible parts of teeth
- Bonding to tooth structure – composite fillings actually chemically bond to tooth structure, providing further support
- Versatility – in addition to use as a filling material for decay, composite fillings can also be used to repair chipped, broken, or worn teeth
- Tooth-sparing preparation – sometimes less tooth structure needs to be removed compared with amalgam fillings when removing decay and preparing for the filling
At Sweet Smiles Dental Practice we only use composite fillings, no Amalgam is used at our surgery.
Our team of friendly staff understand the needs of nervous patients and are experts in treating those who are anxious.