When people think of going to the dentist, many times they think about one of the most common procedures – tooth fillings.
What are dental fillings?
We use dental fillings to treat cavities and to repair cracked or broken teeth.
How are cavities treated?
We treat cavities by removing the decayed portion of a tooth and then filling the area on the tooth where the decay was removed.
What would a dental filling procedure look like with Bridgton Dental Associates?
In our office, the process starts by using a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth to be filled. Then a drill, an abrasion instrument, or a laser, will be used to remove the decayed area.
The dentist then probes and tests the area to make sure all of the decay has been removed. When it’s all clear, the dentist will clean out bacteria and debris within the cavity. After the filling is in, the dentist will finish and polish the area.
If you are receiving a tooth-colored or composite resin filling, it may take several more steps. Resins are usually applied in layers, and each layer is hardened using a special light. When the multilayering process is completed, the dentist will shape the composite material to the desired result, trim off any excess material, and polish the final restoration.
What type of fillings do you offer?
Teeth can also be filled with gold, which is most expensive; silver amalgam, which contains mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc and copper; or porcelain. Although silver amalgam contains mercury, which can be toxic, it has been used for more than 100 years to fill teeth, and both the American Dental Association and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration say there is no proof that silver amalgam is harmful. It is considered more durable than composite resin fillings.
How should I take care of my dental fillings?
We recommend our patients take care of their dental fillings by:
Following good oral hygiene practices
Visiting us regularly for cleanings
Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste
Flossing at least once a day
What should I expect after I get a tooth filled?
Tooth sensitivity following placement of a filling is fairly common. The tooth may be sensitive to pressure, air, sweets or temperature. Usually, the sensitivity goes away within a few weeks. During that time, avoid things that cause the sensitivity. Make sure to contact us if the sensitivity doesn’t go away or if you have other pain associated with the filling.