Dental Filling (Tooth Filling)
Teeth fillings are an early treatment to fill a hole or cavity in your tooth.
What is a tooth fillings?
Tooth filling is commonly used to restore badly worn-down, chipped or broken teeth caused by trauma, nail-biting or teeth grinding, or to treat a cavity due to decay.
The procedure for a filling involves removing the decayed portion and replacing it with a tooth-coloured material. In some cases, the dentist may recommend the use of Local Anaesthetic if he/she anticipates that there may be some discomfort during the decay removal process.
White Cavity Fillings Procedure
Step 1: Check-up
We will check for signs of decay, the extent of the decay as well as cracks or fissures that could lead to decay in the future. If you need fillings or other treatment, our dentists will tell you. A dental x-ray can reveal your teeth’s condition.
Step 2: Anaesthetic
If needed, the dentist will inject a local anaesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. A numbing gel on the gum may also be used to minimise discomfort from the injection itself.
Step 3: Removing Decay
Using a high-speed dentist’s drill, air abrasion tool, or laser, the dentist will remove any parts of the tooth damaged from decay. This should not hurt but you will feel the vibrations and pressure from the drill and other tools. The sound can be quite loud.
Step 4: Dental Filling
An acid gel will be applied on the surface to make the bond stronger. After around 15 seconds, the gel is washed off leaving a roughened surface behind. The dentist then applies a thin layer of bonding agent to the surface about to be filled. The bonding agent is then cured with a blue light to harden them. Depending on how deep the filling is, the procedure may be in stages, hardening one layer at a time. It has a putty-like consistency before it’s cured, so the dentist can press it right into the cavity and mould it to the correct shape.
Step 5: Shaping & Polishing
Once the dental filling is in place and the material has hardened, your dentist will shape and polish it to match the original tooth as closely as possible.
Benefits of Tooth Filling
How to care for a tooth after dental filling
Dental Fillings – Frequently Asked Questions
For large fillings/fillings which are very deep (near the nerve), there can be some inflammation in the tooth making it more sensitive to contact.
Sensitivity can also be due to a high spot on the filling that needs adjusting or maybe the nerve is degenerating due to the close proximity of the cavity resulting in irreversible pulpits. Sometimes it’s just a reaction of the nerve to the work that was done around it.
New fillings can be sensitive to hot and cold liquids, and other foods for the first four to six weeks, after which the sensitivity usually decreases. This is especially when the filling is very large or deep (near the nerve). During the initial healing stages, you may take a painkiller. If the sensitivity continues for an extended period of time or if the discomfort is extreme, call your dentist so that he/she can evaluate the situation and prescribe appropriate therapy.
Typical symptoms of tooth decay (cavities) include:
- pain when chewing
- sensitivity to hot or cold food
- bleeding around the tooth or gums
- swelling around the tooth
When the tooth has an infection, it means that the nerve of the tooth (the pulp) is inflamed, usually as a result of dental decay. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or injury. Initially, this produces a short sharp pain brought on by hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks; at this stage, it is still reversible.
However, if left untreated, the inflammation progresses and become irreversible, and you may experience a throbbing pain of increasing severity. The pain usually lasts several minutes and can also occur spontaneously, particularly at night.
As irreversible pulpitis progresses, the pulp may die and you may experience some temporary relief of pain. However, bacterial infection of the dead pulp can cause a continuous intense pain that affects your sleep.
This can result in an abscess, which is a collection of pus, and you may notice a painful swelling on the gum next to the affected tooth or on the outside of the face. The tooth will be very painful to touch, and you may also feel unwell or have a fever.
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