Dental Fillings Procedure

Has your dentist told you that you need a dental filling? If you’ve never had dental fillings before, or it’s been a long time since you had dental treatment, you might feel a little anxious about what to expect. At Higginbotham Family Dental, we want to make your procedure as comfortable as possible, so here’s some information which might help! 

Why You Need Treatment

A dental filling is a type of restorative treatment. It’s most often used to treat cavities; however, a dental filling can also repair cracked, broken, or worn down teeth. 

Your dentist might recommend a filling to protect your tooth and prevent further decay or damage. If you decide not to get dental fillings, there’s a chance you’ll lose the tooth eventually.  

If you’re searching for a “dentist near me” to help with your dental needs, take a look at our Location Page to find an office closest to you to schedule your appointment at Higginbotham Family Dental! 

Do I Need a Filling? 

You won’t know for sure whether you require dental fillings until your dentist examines that tooth. However, some indications that you may need a filling include:

  • toothache
  • tooth sensitivity
  • sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot, or cold
  • pain on biting down 
  • visible hole in the tooth
  • black or brown patches (although, these can sometimes be simple stains)  

Not all cavities cause the above symptoms. In many instances, cavities do not start symptoms until they have been progressing over time. See your dentist for routine cleanings and check-ups, so they can detect cavities before they cause symptoms or grow larger. 

Dental Fillings Material 

 In the years past, dental fillings were made from metal, meaning they were dark and obvious. With advances in modern dentistry, there are now tooth-colored options, like composite resin, which are much less obvious and more aesthetically pleasing. The dentist will tint the composite resin filling to blend with your existing teeth. This specific type of filling is made from epoxy material that contains silica or ceramic. 

tooth colored fillings and composites

Procedure: What to Expect

The appointment time of your dental fillings procedure can vary depending on a few factors such as the size of the cavity, how many surfaces there are, and how many cavities need filled. You can expect your appointment time to range anywhere from 60-90 minutes. If you need multiple teeth filled, your dentist will repair them during one appointment to help you avoid several trips to the dentist and numbing your mouth multiple times. 

Your dental filling appointment will start with numbing the area on the inside of your cheek with a gel. When the numbing goes into effect, your dentist will then inject a local anesthetic to numb the tooth needing work. This will help in avoiding any discomfort. Once the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove the decayed area of the tooth by drilling a hole in the tooth. During this process, you should not feel pain, but you may feel some pressure. Using a special tool, the dentist will deposit the composite resin on the prepared tooth. He or she will then use a UV light to cure the composite resin material. Finally, your dentist will shape and smooth the material to make sure your bite is correct. 

Aftercare

You may feel some sensitivity after a dental filling procedure, but it should subside after a week or two. You will care for your teeth with fillings like you would your regular teeth. Be sure to brush and floss daily to prevent bacteria from gathering around the filling. Visit your dentist for teeth cleanings and check-ups every 6 months. This way, the dentist can detect if your filling is damaged early on or check for any other dental problems. 

 

If you do detect any signs that your dental fillings are damaged, cracked, or chipped, please do not hesitate to contact Higginbotham Family Dental. If you notice the damage early, we could simply remove and replace the damaged filling. However, if a damaged filling is neglected for too long, bacteria can get into the filling. This will result in needing a larger filling or even a root canal.