Going to the dentist can be a daunting experience, especially if you’re not familiar with the type of procedures they will perform. Dental fillings are one of the most common treatments done by general dentists, yet many people don't fully understand what they are. If you’re scheduled for a dental filling soon or are curious about the procedure, this guide is for you.
What Are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are a type of dental restoration that aims to repair teeth damaged by cavities or decay. They’re designed to fill up the holes in your teeth (also known as cavities) to prevent further decay and restore your tooth's original shape. There are many types of fillings available, including amalgam, composite resin, ceramic, and gold. Your dentist will discuss with you which filling you should have based on the extent of the damage to your tooth, your allergies and sensitivities, and aesthetic preferences.
How Are Dental Fillings Done?
To begin the procedure, your dentist will numb the area surrounding the tooth with a local anesthetic. This will help reduce pain and discomfort during the procedure. After the area is numb, your dentist will carefully remove the damaged tooth material using a drill or other appropriate tool. Then, they’ll clean and disinfect the hole, ensuring there are no bacteria left behind. Once that’s completed, your dentist can start filling in the hole with the appropriate filling material. Lastly, the dentist will polish and finish the filling to make sure it matches the rest of your teeth aesthetically.
Are Dental Fillings Expensive?
The cost of dental fillings varies depending on the location of the dental clinic and the filling material used. Generally, composite resin fillings cost more than amalgam fillings, but they’re often a better choice for filling in visible teeth. Some insurance policies also cover dental fillings, so it’s best to consult your insurance provider if you’re unsure.
How Is the Recovery Process?
After the procedure, you’ll usually leave the dental clinic pain-free. However, you might feel some sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks for a few days. This is normal and should subside after a few days. It’s essential to practice good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, to avoid further cavities and decay.
Dental fillings are a common dental procedure that’s designed to repair tooth damage caused by cavities and decay. They can be done quickly and without much pain or discomfort, thanks to advancements in technology. If you feel pain or sensitivity in your teeth, you should consult your dentist immediately before the dental health condition exacerbates. Remember, good dental hygiene is also key to having a healthy set of teeth.
For more information about fillings and other general dentistry procedures, contact a dentist in your area.