Getting a filling completed today is much simpler than it was when amalgam (metal) fillings were the only option. That is because today’s materials and techniques are much more conservative and we know a lot more about how anesthetic works for different people.
You have likely had a filling during your lifetime – most of us will have at least one! You were probably in and out of the dental office without giving too much thought to the procedure itself. When most people look for a dentist in Huntsville, AL, they usually just want to know that their tooth is healthy and that nothing hurts during their procedure.
In case you’re curious, here are the basic steps for the filling process:
- Step #1 – We will take an x-ray to determine the extent of the decay. This helps your dentist plan for your treatment. It is at this point that you will receive an estimate for your treatment.
- Step #2 – After numbing your tooth, your dentist will remove all signs of dental decay and bacteria. With tooth-colored fillings, we only need to remove the diseased portion of the tooth. Composite bonds directly to the tooth and eliminates the need for removing healthy tooth structure to anchor an amalgam filling in place.
- Step #3 – We will then prepare your tooth for bonding by treating it with an agent that helps the tooth-colored material “stick” to your tooth.
- Step #4 – Your dentist will apply the shade of composite that matches your tooth. This is done in layers and hardened in between each layer with a curing light.
- Step #5 – Once the tooth is completely filled, your dentist will shape and polish the filling to blend in with your tooth and feel smooth. Nothing will appear different to the untrained eye. Your filling will look natural.
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You can chew on your new filling right away because it will be completely hard by the time you leave the dental office. It is wise to avoid hot foods and liquids until the numbness wears off, so you don’t burn yourself without realizing it.