Before a tooth filling:
- The first step is an evaluation by your dentist, including x-rays, to ensure a tooth filling is necessary.
- Then, you and your dentist will discuss whether a tooth colored filling or silver filling is best for that particular tooth.
- First, your dentist will numb the area so you are comfortable throughout the procedure.
- Next, a dental handpiece (often referred to as a “drill”) is used to remove all of the tooth decay.
- Then, the filling material will be placed:
- If a white filling is used, the material will be adapted to the tooth and shaped. Then, a high intensity blue light is used to harden the material and bond it to the tooth.
- If a silver filling is used, the material will be condensed into the tooth with pressure and then contoured to the correct dimensions.
- The next step is to check that you are biting properly. If the filling is “high” (meaning you are biting too hard on it), the material will be reduced until your bite is correct.
- The final step is to smooth and polish the filling.
- Depending on the size and type, the procedure typically lasts from 10 to 20 minutes.
After the procedure:
- You should not eat until the numbing agent wears off, which typically takes about an hour and a half. You may not be aware t hat your lip is numb and may bite it while chewing
- Following the procedure, teeth are sometimes sensitive to hot or cold food and drinks. Slight sensitivity may occur for a few days. If the sensitivity increases or lasts more than a week, you should contact your dentist.
About our office’s goal to prevent tooth decay:
After attending and teaching at Tufts Dental School, my wife Joanne and I moved to Palm Beach County, where I have practiced ever since. From the day my office opened, my goal has been to help my patients prevent tooth decay. Thus, we always emphasize the importance of routine dental cleanings, as well as proper brushing and flossing. In addition, our hygienists demonstrate how to correctly brush and floss at the end of each cleaning appointment. Unfortunately, tooth decay can enlarge and worsen quickly. So, regular dental exams are important to identify cavities when they are still small. If you are due for a check-up or you have any questions, we are more than happy to see you for a complimentary exam.