What do I need to know about fillings?
Fillings are used to help restore teeth that have been damaged by cavities or fractures. A “filling” helps restore the tooth in a way so it can return to its normal function. It also helps prevent the tooth from decaying more and causing more damage. Fillings are made from different materials including composite resin and porcelain.
Your dentist can help you decide which material will be the best for your particular circumstances. It can depend on how extensive the cavity is, which tooth is being filled and which material is most beneficial.
What type of filling will I need?
The dentist will discuss with you the type of filling that is best for your teeth. He may suggest direct fillings that are completed in one visit. Or he may suggest an indirect filling which usually takes two visits to complete.
How will the dentist know if I need a filling or not?
There are several methods a dentist will use to determine if you need a filling. Sometimes discoloration of the tooth can indicate a cavity, but many times we need to use a special tool to probe the teeth and assess the integrity of tooth structure. Other times a cavity is only discernable by using a radiograph. X-rays can reveal what we don’t see by the eye and reveal early signs of decay.
What should I expect while the dentist is doing a filling?
We can administer local anesthesia to help numb the area near the tooth being filled. Once the area is numb, we will remove any tooth structure that is decayed and the shape the tooth properly for a filling. The tooth is then conditioned and prepared. A tooth-coloured material is inserted and fitted for the specific tooth shape. Finally, we will check that the filling is in harmony with your bite. You’ll have a tooth that matches your bite with a pleasing, natural appearance.
What do I do after a filling?
We may give you some specific instructions after the filling is completed. We may suggest you refrain from chewing on the side with the filling or to keep from eating anything too hot or too cold for a limited period of time.