Greencastle Dentist Explains Fillings
Dental fillings are a standard procedure that many people undergo every year. In fact, according to various sources, over 90% of adults in the United States have had at least one dental filling. So, the chances are that you will need a filling at some point in your life.
For some people, getting a dental filling is not very appealing, mainly because they assume the procedure will hurt. But do fillings hurt? The answer is, "not usually."
What is a Dental Filling?
A dental filling is a procedure in which a dentist removes decay from a tooth and then fills it with a material. In the past, the most common filling material was amalgam, which is made of various metals.
A composite filling is made of plastic and glass. Today, it is often used because it matches the color of the teeth. Composite fillings offer a variety of oral health benefits compared to amalgam fillings, which is why they are becoming the most common type of filling.
When is a Filling Necessary?
Dental fillings are necessary when a tooth is damaged by decay. When decay is present, the tooth's enamel has been breached, and bacteria have entered the tooth's inner layers. If left untreated, decay can spread and eventually lead to an infection.
Dental fillings protect teeth from decay by filling in the hole left behind after the decay is removed. It stops the bacteria from entering the tooth and causing further damage. Dental fillings also restore the tooth's strength and stability, which can help prevent future decay from occurring.
Several symptoms can indicate that you have tooth decay and may need dental care:
- Visible Holes
What is the Process of Getting a Dental Filling?
Suppose your dentist in Greencastle, Indiana, has determined that you need a dental filling at your biannual exam and cleaning. In that case, the next step is to numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Numbing will ensure that you do not feel any pain during the procedure.
Once numb, your dentist will use a drill to remove the decay and clean the cavity to kill any excess bacteria. They will then fill the hole with the composite fillings, followed by a special curing light to harden the material.
After the filling is hardened, your Greencastle dentist will polish it so that it blends in with the rest of your tooth. The entire process usually takes less than an hour, and you can go about your day as usual once finished.
Dental Anesthetics Make the Process Painless
One of the most common misconceptions about fillings is that they are painful. But as we explained above, the reality is they are usually not painful at all. The dental anesthetic numbs the area around the tooth so that you do not feel any pain during the procedure.
You may sometimes feel some soreness after having a filling placed. This pain is usually mild and does not require medications. It should also fade within a week or two of having the filling placed.
Visit Your Greencastle Dentist for a Healthy Smile
If you have any questions or concerns about dental fillings, be sure to contact your Greencastle dentists. Dr. Dennis Knuth, Dr. Tess Funke, and the whole team are happy to answer any questions you may have.