A dental filling is a type of restorative treatment that seals off areas of dental decay. The process allows your provider to remove all the decayed tooth tissue, sanitize the area, then “fill in” the cavity with special dental materials.
To understand fillings, it helps to know a bit about what dental cavities are and how they develop. The outermost layer of your teeth is a thin shell of hard material called enamel.
Cavities occur when bacteria forms a layer of plaque on the surface of your teeth. If it isn’t removed, the plaque begins to eat away at your enamel. Over time, small holes develop, forming a cavity.
These openings allow bacteria to further invade your teeth, which can eventually destroy a significant amount of healthy tooth tissue. Untreated cavities can cause infection of the inner chamber of your teeth and even the connected bone tissue.
Your provider checks your teeth for signs of decay during your routine dental exams. If they find areas of concern, additional screening options like X-rays may be needed.
If a filling is the best treatment option, you’ll receive a numbing injection to prevent any discomfort during your treatment. Your provider then uses advanced dental tools to carefully remove all traces of decay, preserving as much healthy tooth tissue as possible.
The dental team checks the area to ensure there is no additional decay before thoroughly cleaning it to prepare for the filling. Next, a tooth-colored composite material is used to fill in the cavity.
Your provider completes the filling by polishing the material to a smooth finish. If a multilayering approach is used, a special light may be directed to the tooth between applications to harden the materials.
Once the filling is complete, there is no need for special care. Simply continue an optimal dental hygiene routine to remove bacteria each day and prevent additional decay.
Scheduling routine dental exams are the best way to prevent new cavities from forming. Even if a cavity develops, catching it in the early stages allows for shallower fillings that preserve the structure of your teeth.
If you’d like to learn more about the best ways to keep your smile healthy, schedule a dental exam at Whitenhill Dental Corporation today. Online booking is simple and easy, or you can always call to speak with a friendly member of the administrative staff.