It’s possible that you or someone you know have received at least one dental filling – most people will have by the time they reach adulthood. Though they are one of the most common dental procedures, many people may not be clear of what exactly they are. At Colony Dental, dental fillings are one of the many services we provide to restore your teeth to health in Sugarland.
What are dental fillings?
Dental fillings are most commonly used to treat cavities. Cavities form when bacteria (found in plaque and food debris that is left on the tooth surfaces) produce acids that wear away the tooth enamel. This eventually starts to form a hole in the tooth, called a cavity. Dental fillings remove this damage and replace the tooth structure that was removed to restore function to the tooth.
The procedure to have a tooth filled usually takes less than one hour. Cavities are normally detected during routine dental exams and, in most cases, your dentist will be able to treat it in the same appointment.
To place a filling, the tooth will first be numbed using a local anesthetic. The procedure is not particularly invasive, but there may be some discomfort as the decay is removed. Your dentist will then proceed to clean the tooth of decay and shape it to receive the filling. A filling can be made from a variety of materials. The most common material used now is composite because it is fairly strong, durable, and can be shaded to match the color of the surrounding teeth to create an inconspicuous restoration. It will be placed into the tooth, usually in layers, with each layer being hardened before the next one is placed. Once all the layers have been applied and hardened, your dentist will shave down the filling, if needed, to ensure that it fits with your bite.
Your mouth will most likely remain numb for several hours following the appointment. You will have to be careful when eating or drinking to avoid accidentally biting your cheek, but the tooth will be ready to use shortly after the procedure.
If you have developed a cavity in Sugarland, make an appointment at Colony Dental to have it treated.