We are all aware of the danger of cavities and how they can affect our dental health. Tooth decay is irreversible once it begins, and as it progresses, the tooth slowly becomes compromised to the point that it will have to be removed. Dental fillings are used in order to stop the process of tooth decay and help save the tooth from being removed.
Dental fillings are a standard procedure in a dentist’s office, and they are usually done in one sitting. The following are a few things you should know about dental fillings and how they work.
Identifying the Extent of Decay
Once a cavity has been identified, the dentist will observe it measure the extent of the decay to your tooth. This involves literally poking at the decay to see how much enamel and dentin gets chipped away from the tooth. After the amount of decay is measured and a filling is seen as the appropriate way of caring for the tooth, the dentist will need to remove the cavity.
Removing the Decay
When a tooth is taken over by a cavity, the hard enamel and dentin soften. To prepare the tooth for a filling the dentist will drill away this softened area until only the healthy part of the tooth is left.
Filling in the Cavity
After removing the decayed part of the tooth, all that’s left is to help fill in the exposed interior. Your dentist will use a special plastic resin that is meant to emulate the structure of the tooth. The dental fillings are applied by putting this plastic in the hole, and then it is dried in place with a special light.
Cleaning the Area
After the dental fillings have been applied and dried, the dentist has to shape it to your comfort and specifications. It is hard to emulate the natural structure of a tooth, so the dentist will rely on your reports in order to shape it in such a way that it is similar to the original tooth. This will require you to biting down and grinding your teeth to make sure you feel comfortable with the new part of your tooth.
Getting a cavity removed is never a pleasant process, and often, people dread going to the dentist just to avoid being told they have a cavity. It is important to know that a cavity is a problem that can only get worse over time and may even lead to you losing your tooth altogether. It is better to go to the dentist and get dental fillings before the decay gets to the point of causing you to lose your tooth.
In any case, the real way to avoid being told you have a cavity is by practicing proper oral hygiene. Flossing and brushing regularly will ultimately help prevent tooth decay.