Nothing hurts like tooth pain. It may start as a subtle ache and then move into a sharp pain. You most likely have a cavity and need a dental filling.
But what are dental fillings made of? What dental procedures do you need to receive dental fillings that ultimately lead to healthy teeth?
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about dental fillings from the materials in them to the procedures that lead to them.
1. What Are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are synthetic materials dentists use to restore a damaged tooth. The damage could stem from a cavity to a fissure or crack caused by trauma.
The filling adheres to the tooth surface perfectly and helps retain the structural integrity of the tooth. In short, you have a strong tooth with no decay or crack when you use the services this dentist offers.
2. What Is In a Dental Fillings?
Dentists will use one of a variety of materials to fill teeth. The choice of materials depends on how much you’re willing to spend on a filling as well as how difficult the tooth will be to fill. Here are four basic filling options:
- Amalgam: the silver-colored, strongest, and cheapest tooth filling material option made of a mixture of mercury, tin, and copper.
- Dental Resin Composite: a mixture of powdered glass and acrylic resin that matches tooth color
- Glass Ionomer: a type of white cement used typically on children’s teeth or to fill in the decay around roots
- Gold: strong, durable, and expensive material that requires the most time in the dentist chair
3. How Do Dentists Fill Cavities?
A dentist will first conduct a checkup and evaluate the patient’s oral health. If you have a cavity, the dentist will most likely schedule you for a second appointment to have the cavity filled.
When you come in for your second appointment, the dentist gives you a shot or two of novocaine to number the area so you do not feel the procedure.
The dentist then uses a small drill to remove the decay. They then remove damaged tooth particles using a laser, drill, or air abrasion tool.
After cleaning the area, the dentist shapes the filling to fill the area left behind. After the material hardens, the dentist will shape the material to match your original tooth shape.
4. Do Fillings Hurt?
You will feel some pain when the dentist applies the anesthetic to your gums. The novocaine shot is a small pinch for a few seconds. After this, though, you should feel nothing until the novocaine wears off.
After you’ve finished the procedure, the numbness will subside in a few hours, and you may feel some discomfort. That will also go away in a day or so. You should not feel significant pain from your filling.
5. How Long Will the Procedure Take?
The tooth filling procedure will take anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes from beginning to end. If you have more than one cavity, the dentist will take care of more than one filling at a time. Those who feel nervous about dental procedures find comfort in having their dentist explain the procedure ahead of time.
No Fear Dental Fillings
Now that you can answer the question, “what are dental fillings,” you can approach the dentist with no fear. Dental fillings are a simple material that fixes a big problem. Understanding the procedure will help you seek the dental care you need for a healthy mouth.
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