Dental Fillings And What To Expect When You Receive Them

Posted on: 7 November 2018

Fillings are common restorative dental applications that are used to replace missing tooth material. Nevertheless, if  you have never had a dental filling, when your dentist prescribes one, you may wonder what the dental service entails. 

Here is a bit of information about dental fillings and what to expect when you receive them.

Why Are Dental Fillings Needed?

Dental fillings are used to fill the space in a tooth left by a cavity, crack, or other dental trauma. The filling fortifies the tooth, restoring its strength and functionality.

What Are Fillings Made of?

A dental filling may be made of a number of materials, including amalgam, gold, porcelain, or composite resin. Depending on the location of the damaged tooth in the mouth, a dentist may recommend porcelain or composite resin to match the natural color of the patient's teeth.

What Can You Expect When Your Dentist Fills a Cavity?

Before a cavity or decayed portion of a tooth can be filled, the decay must be removed. The dentist uses a laser or drill to remove the decay. The dentist then uses a probe to inspect the area and ensure that all of the decay has been eradicated. After they have confirmed that the area is clear, the dentist cleans the site thoroughly to ensure that the hole is free of bacteria and debris. Next, the filling is placed and polished. 

However, if a composite filling is applied, the moldable, tooth-colored product is placed in layers. After each layer is applied, it is exposed to a specialized light to harden it into position. After all of the layers are hardened, the filling is shaped and polished.

What Should You Do If a Filling Is Loose or Missing?

If a filling loosens or falls out, you should visit your dentist immediately. Air that enters the space between the tooth material and the filling can aggravate sensitive dental nerves to cause pain. Additionally, bacteria may invade the tooth, resulting in a dental infection.

Replacing the filling is not usually time-consuming, but dental issues that may arise if the filling is not restored in a timely manner may require a more complicated treatment, such as a root canal.

If you are planning a plane flight and have incurred damage to a filling, it is especially important to have the filling repaired before your trip. Atmospheric pressure changes during the flight can further exacerbate your discomfort.

To learn more about dental fillings, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area, such as Tijeras Dental Service.