Getting a tooth filled probably doesn’t head your list of favorite activities. However, that doesn’t mean you should waste time and energy dreading your appointment. This simple procedure is relatively quick and painless and prevents infections and other dental issues in the future. Knowing what to expect when you visit your family dentist will help put you at ease and prepare you for your dental appointment if you have a cavity and need a filling.
Before the Exam
You will be asked questions about your medical and dental history and for a list of any medications you are currently taking. Don’t forget to include OTC medications and herbal supplements, too. It is also important to inform your dental team if you have any heart conditions. Your dentist may want to prescribe special antibiotics to prevent endocarditis, an infection of the heart.
Your dentist will make a quick examination of your mouth and the tooth that needs filling. He may use a metal probe to check the strength of your tooth and take x-rays to determine the extent and position of the cavity.
Your dentist will discuss the x-rays and any exam findings and explain to you the procedure they will follow to fill your tooth.
A numbing gel will be applied to your teeth and gums to desensitize them. Additionally, if you have a phobia or experience anxiety about dental procedures, your dentist may give you a mild sedative. This is referred to as sedation dentistry and is typically administered via a IV or pill.
Once you are relaxed and the gingiva is numbed, the dentist will inject the area around the tooth with more anesthesia. This will prevent you from experiencing pain or discomfort during the procedure.
Preparation for the Filling
The dentist will use a drill to remove the decayed portions of your tooth. Don’t worry, you won’t feel any pain. Drilling the tooth may take a few minutes, depending on the size and placement of the cavity.
While the tooth is being prepared for a filling, your dentist or an assistant will use a small, handheld suction device to remove material from your mouth. Your mouth will also be rinsed with water.
Filling the Tooth
Once the decayed area of the tooth has been removed and cleaned, your dentist will begin filling the tooth. This is painless and is usually accomplished within a few minutes. Your dentist may use amalgam, or composite resin material to fill the tooth, depending on the strength and condition of your tooth.
Before the tooth is filled, the area to be filled will be covered with adhesive material. This material will help the filling bond to the tooth.
Next, the filling material will be applied to the area where your cavity used to be. A dental assistant will then apply a light to the material to harden it. The procedure will be repeated as your dentist works to build up the filling.
Your dentist will polish your tooth and smooth off any rough edges on the filling. They may also take a dental imprint to ensure that the filling aligns with your natural bite. If necessary they will make minor corrections to adjust the height of the filling to prevent issues with eating.
After Your Appointment
Your mouth and lips may remain ‘numb’ for several hours after you receive your filling. The numbness will wear off gradually. It is important to exercise caution with eating for the next few hours. Avoid hot beverages or foods that may burn your mouth. Stick to soft foods to avoid biting the inside of your mouth.
Your dentist will advise you of any additional or special precautions you should observe.
Contact Hebert Family Dentistry and Schedule an Appointment Today
If you are looking for an affordable dentist for a tooth filling or other North Lafayette, Louisiana dentist services, Herbert Family Dentistry can meet your needs. We also offer sedation dentistry making the experience more comfortable for our clients. We offer a wide range of services in dentistry from cleanings and preventive solutions to clear correct and clear aligners. Contact us today to make an appointment or talk to one of our professionals about our affordable and professional dental solutions for your entire family.