How Do Dental Fillings Work?

Find out what to expect from your first dental filling.Fillings

Getting a dental filling is an all too common practice in the dental world. In fact, about 60 percent to 90 percent of children and almost 100 percent of adults will experience a dental cavity. That means most people will need to get a filling at some point in their lives. While your first dental filling in North Charleston might seem a bit daunting, here is what to expect during your upcoming procedure:

  1. The first thing your North Charleston dentist will do is inject a local anesthetic into your gums to numb the area before starting the procedure.
  2. Once the anesthesia has started to work and your mouth is completely numb, we will go in and remove the dental decay using a drill. Sometimes lasers can be used instead of a drill; however, this is less common.
  3. We will use a high-speed drill to remove the decay and the tooth’s enamel; however, once we get to the second layer of the tooth, we will opt for a lower-speed drill. This is because the second layer is softer than your tooth’s enamel.
  4. Once we have removed all of the decay we will get the resin material ready to fill your tooth. How we fill and shape will depend on which tooth we are filling.
  5. If we use a bonded filling on your tooth we will first prepare the tooth by applying an acid gel. The acid gel creates small holes in the tooth’s enamel, which we will then fill with the special resin. Bonded fillings make it less likely that decay will form under the filling and this is often performed when using composite, or tooth-colored fillings.
  6. However, we may use a type of filling that is cured with the use of a laser. We will apply a layer of resin, use the light to harden it, and then apply another layer.
  7. Once the filling is complete, we will use a specialized tool to polish and finish your tooth.

Your mouth may be numb for several hours after the procedure. You may also notice some sensitivity in the filled tooth. These are common issues that will go away. If you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming dental filling, feel free to call our office!