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What are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are designed to replace one or more areas in a tooth that have begun to decay. Tooth decay is one of the most common, yet serious dental conditions around the world. It is often caused by poor dietary habits and oral hygiene, but some patients are simply more prone to it developing. In order to prevent the decay from infiltrating the entire tooth, it’s removed and a filling placed.
Why would Dental Fillings be necessary?
When you have a cavity, it is a small area of decay that is essentially eating away at the tooth. Over time, the cavity gets larger and larger until it reaches the inner pulp. Once the pulp if affected, it will need to be removed via root canal therapy. In order to stop the decay in its tracks, we remove it fully and put a tooth-colored composite filling in its place.
Who is a candidate for a Dental Filling?
Unfortunately, most smaller cavities will not have any symptoms. You probably won’t notice that there is a problem until the cavity gets larger or begins to affect the inner pulp of the tooth. For this reason, it is essential to keep up with bi-annual exams so that we can check for cavities. If you do have a cavity, we will advise having a filling placed before the decay gets worse.
What happens during the Dental Filling procedure?
We begin by numbing the entire area where the cavity is located. The decay is then removed using a special slow speed drill. We prep the tiny hole that was left behind and place the composite material inside of it. Excess material is removed before the filling itself is cured with a bright light. This light melts and hardens the filling, which helps to keep it in place. Your new composite filling can last for about a decade before it may need to be replaced.
If you think you might need a filling, call us today to schedule an appointment to come in for an exam.