Do you have a tooth with a cavity in it that needs to be filled, but you've never had a cavity before? You're likely feeling nervous about what to expect for your trip to the dentist to have it filled. Here is what you need to know so that you can have realistic expectations.
You May Not Feel Any Discomfort
One of the benefits of going to the dentist regularly is that you can catch tooth decay when it is early. This means that the cavity is quite small, and the dentist may not even have to remove much of the tooth's structure to place a filling into it. That's why you shouldn't assume that having a cavity will be an uncomfortable experience, because it may not feel like anything at all in the end.
You'll Receive Anesthesia
Your dentist will want to numb the part of the mouth that they are working on by using a local anesthesia known as Lidocaine. It is injected into your gums and starts working immediately, so the sensation that you feel from the needle going into your gums will be minimal. The dentist will give you several minutes so that the Lidocaine takes effect and your mouth feels numb.
The Tooth Decay Will Be Removed
The dentist will remove the parts of the tooth that are suffering from decay. The reason for this is to remove all of the bacterial infection in the tooth, which will prevent the bacteria from growing further into the tooth. The extent of the cavity can be verified by using x-rays to see how deep the decay goes.
The dentist will then use hand instruments to verify that the cavity has been removed. They'll check that the stain from the cavity is gibe and that nothing is on the tooth's surface that is sticky or irritating.
The Filling Is Placed In The Tooth
A resin material can then be placed into the tooth's structure, which is going to be white in color to match the surface color of the tooth. It blends with the natural surface of the tooth quite well and can be shaped to match the part of the tooth that has been removed. A special light is shined on the filling material to harden it with a light reaction. The dentist will then verify that the curing light has hardened the material, and then verify that filling is not interfering with the patient's bite.
For more information on getting your cavities filled, contact a dental office near you.