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How Dental Fillings Work


Dentist in Westmont

If you’re experiencing dental pain or hypersensitivity, it is possible that you might have a cavity. Cavities are caused by the bacteria in plaque on your teeth. Every time you eat, these bacteria feed on the sugars in your food and release acids onto your dental enamel. While your mouth has its own methods to fight this process, repeated “acid attacks” can result in a hole in your tooth—also known as a cavity. Should this occur, we may need to restore your tooth with a filling. This process is actually quite simple! Here are the five steps you can expect to be taken when receiving this restorative dental work.

1. We will administer a local anesthetic.

Before getting started on your dental filling, we will first administer a local anesthetic to ensure you don’t feel a thing! To do so, we will dry the procedure site with a couple bursts of air. Then, we will apply a numbing gel, which allows us to inject the anesthetic. Once the anesthetic is injected, you won’t be able to feel any of the dental work taking place!

2. The point of decay is removed.

Next, your dentist will remove the point of decay from your tooth. This will require a dental drill to remove this section of the tooth and simultaneously spray water on the site. Your dental assistant will also use suction to remove debris from the decayed tooth. You might find that your dentist uses two separate drills during this process. The first makes a high pitched whining sound—this is a high-speed drill that will remove the decay and surrounding enamel of your tooth. The second drill is a bit slower and is used when they have reached the dentin, or the second layer of your tooth.

3. We will prepare the space for a filling.

Once the decay has been removed from your tooth, your dentist will then shape the space to make your tooth ready for the filling. The process of shaping the hole for your filling, as well as materials used to line it, can vary depending on your filling’s location or material. If using a bonded filling, your dentist may place an acid gel to create small holes in the enamel before placing the filling.

4. The dental filling is put into place.

Once the hole has been prepared, your filling will be inserted into the space. This hardened substance can be made from any number of materials—including silver and resin—and is made specially to resemble your tooth. Ultimately, the goal here is to fill up the hole in your tooth to rebuild its structure and restore your bite. Depending on the material used, your dentist may use a special light to cure the material so that it solidifies in your tooth.

5. We will ensure the filling fits comfortably.

Once the filling is put firmly into place, your dentist will have you bite down on carbon paper to ensure it isn’t too high above the rest of your bite. We can use a drill to file it down slightly if it is at all uncomfortable. When all is said and done, your dentist will polish the tooth so it looks good as new!

Do you think you might have a cavity? Contact Fairview Dental Group in Westmont today to schedule your next appointment!

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If you have a general question, comment, or need to schedule an appointment, feel free to send us a message! For emergencies, or to cancel or reschedule an appointment, please call our office at:
(630) 852-5353