The most common type of dental procedure in today’s modern world is the need for a filling. No matter your age there are many instances when a filling may be necessary to fill a gap or a hole in a tooth. The most common reasons for a filling are tooth decay but others may include cracked or broken teeth, teeth that have been work out from unusual use such as biting nails, tooth grinding (bruxism) or using your teeth for opening common day items. When you visit your dentist, he or she may use local anesthesia to numb the area before proceeding. Our team at Strathcona Dental Works here in Calgary, Alberta will work with you ensure you have a comfortable experience no matter if this is your first filling or your tenth. The aim of any dentist is to make sure the patient does not experience any pain during their appointment when a filling is involved.
Steps to a Filling
The first steps in the process include cleaning of the particular tooth which may include the use of a hand drill or laser. Once the tooth decay has been removed, the dentist will then shape the space for the particular filling. Different types of filings require different shaping procedures to make sure they will stay intact through years of use. The dentist may put in a base or a liner to help protect the tooth’s pulp (a layer of nerve endings). This layer acts a shield to make sure the nerve endings do not get damaged from the filling.
After the filling is shaped, your dentist will have to harden the filling through the use of a special light. He or she may layer the filling multiple times and shine the light in between layers to harden it each time. This cures (hardens) the material and makes is stronger and less likely to be worn out over extended periods of time. Once this is complete, the dentist will use burs (drill) to finish and polish the tooth to make sure it is smooth and will not cause the patient to feel the actual filling.
After getting a Filling
Some people may experience sensitivity after getting their filling. The tooth may experience high levels of sensitivity to pressure, air, sweets, or hot and cold foods. Some may even experience pain in the area after the anesthesia has worn off due to the filling being too high. Call your dentist right away if you do experience pain in the area after your filling. The second type of discomfort may be from what is known as Galvanic Shock. It is caused by two metals (one in the newly filled tooth and the other in the tooth it is touching) producing an electric current in your mouth. This would happen for example if you had a previous crown placed and the new filling was placed on the opposite side. Once the two teeth meet, the electric current may travel between the two metals.
Keep in mind that you should tell your dentist about any sensitivity that you may be experiencing after your filling. Being honest and open about your experience will help our team to better assist you and your loved ones in all your future visits. And most importantly, don’t forget to continue your daily hygiene practice to ensure your fillings last for many years to come.