What Happens When I Get a Filling?

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Tooth decay can affect any part of your teeth. Without filling the cavity, the tooth will continue to decay and it would require more serious procedures and extra costs.

Before the procedure, your dentist will discuss numbing options available to you. Most people choose to have novocaine injected into the local gum tissue. This will numb the area in about 20 minutes and it will remain numb long enough for the dentist to finish the procedure.

The first step usually involves some basic cleaning. The dentist may also decide to place a small rubber dam over the tooth to protect it from debris that go into your mouth. If it’s going to be a long procedure or if it will involve multiple teeth, your dentist might insert a bite block into your mouth to spare you from having to keep your mouth open all the time.

Once the tooth is cleaned and prepared, the dentist will use a drill to remove all of the tooth decay, leaving only healthy enamel to anchor your filling. The dentist will then apply the filling material and polish the tooth to make sure it is smooth. If the cavity is associated with the biting surface, the dentist will also take measures to sculpt the filling to fit naturally with your other teeth.

The material your dentist uses for the filling will vary based on where the tooth is in your smile and it’s function in your mouth. The most common filling materials include gold, amalgam-silver, composite plastic and porcelain.

If you are concerned that you might need a filling, please feel free to call us at 360.653.5197 to schedule an appointment.