What Are Dental Fillings

Do you know what happens during a dental filling procedure? When your dentist removes a small decayed part of the tooth, he then “fills” in the tooth cavity with a filling; a different type of dental filling material that is similar in looks and hardness to your original teeth.

Although most people think of children having a dental filling procedure done, cavities can affect almost anyone, in any age group. Adults who find they get cavities will find that changes to their oral hygiene routine usually result in fewer or no cavities.

Why Fillings are Important

When a tooth cavity is caught early, it can easily be treated. However, cavities that are left alone will continue to grow without stopping. They don’t just destroy the tooth enamel. Untreated cavities will eventually reach the soft “root” of the tooth. When this happens, you will require a much more involved type of procedure called a root canal.

A dental filling procedure helps to prevent the need for a root canal and preserves more of your natural tooth structure. The qualified dentists here at Country Dental in Cambridge, Fergus and Toronto can fix your tooth cavity with a dental filling to help prevent the possibility of a root canal in the future.

What Happens During a Dental Filling

 A dental filling is a four-step process that is quick and virtually painless.

  1. Your dentist will first need to diagnose the cavity. This is generally done through x-rays and a physical dental exam. Once the size and exact location of the tooth cavity is found, the dentist will discuss the best way to treat the decay.
  2. Before the dental filling procedure can begin, the dentist will prepare the tooth by first removing any deteriorating parts of the tooth with a dental drill. The dentist then shapes the tooth for the application of the material. It’s important to prepare the tooth to ensure that a strong bond is made between the tooth and the filling so the repair will last for many years.
  3. Next, filling the tooth with composite resin is necessary. Although many different types of dental fillings have been used over the years, nothing is as durable as composite filling. The resin is white, like the natural colour of your teeth, and at the same time is just as strong as your original tooth enamel.
  4. When the dental filling procedure is complete, your dentist will have you bite down, sometimes on a small strip of blue paper that resembles carbon paper. If the dental filling is too tall or too abrasive, the dentist will then use some mild abrasives to correct the issue. The dentist will make the tooth the correct height so it doesn’t interfere when you bite down and so it feels smooth like your other natural teeth.

Contact Country Dental If You Think You Have a Cavity

Cavities that are left untreated can become a painful matter. Don’t wait for a simple matter to grow into something far worse, and far more expensive. This Medicine article offers additional information about dental fillings.

Dental Fillings
Frequently Asked Questions

How do dental fillings work?

A dental filling is simply a dental restoration. After removing the decay, the damaged area is cleaned and prepped with an adhesive. The tooth is then restored by filling the cavity with a composite filling that is hardened (bonded) using a special light.

How long does a dental filling last?

It is not uncommon for dental fillings to last up to 15 years or more. The integrity of the filling can be checked during regular dental visits and if necessary, the filling can be replaced.

How long does a dental filling take?

On average, most fillings can be completed in an hour or less depending on the tooth being repaired and the extent of the restoration.

How can you tell if a filling needs to be replaced?

See your dentist if your filling becomes cracked or discoloured, or if the tooth becomes painful or sensitive to hot or cold liquids. The dentist will check the integrity of the filling and may decide to replace it.

Are dental fillings painful?

Usually, an anaesthetic or numbing gel is used to numb the area so most dental fillings are not normally painful. Following the procedure, some patients may experience heightened tooth sensitivity for a very short time.

How much does a dental filling cost?

The cost of a dental filling will vary greatly depending on the type of filling used. Porcelain or gold fillings cost a lot more than a tooth-coloured composite filling while a silver amalgam filling (generally less than $150) is the least expensive.

If you believe you have a tooth cavity or would like to know more about what happens during a dental filling procedure, please contact us to book an appointment. You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including evenings.

Toronto – 416-335-7377

Cambridge – 519-620-7474

Fergus – 519-787-7878

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