Dental Fillings Q&A
What are dental fillings?
Dental fillings reconstruct teeth that have been weakened by tooth decay. Although cavities are highly preventable, most children and adults will have at least one during their lifetime. Dr. Ocharoen is an advocate for preventing tooth decay and educating you and your family on proper brushing techniques, but if you do have a cavity, she offers dental fillings to restore your teeth to their proper form and function.
Dental fillings also prevent further decay and damage to the affected tooth, which is why it’s important to get a filling should the need arise.
What are the steps involved in receiving a dental filling?
Dental fillings are a relatively simple dental procedure. Before proceeding, if the tooth Dr. Ocharoen is working on is highly sensitive, or you have a large cavity, she first numbs the area of your mouth with a local anesthetic. Dr. Ocharoen then removes the decay from inside and around the affected tooth.
Once she removes the decayed material, Dr. Ocharoen cleans the cavity to remove any bacteria or debris before she places the filling. She uses a tooth-colored material to fill in the cavity or silver amalgam. When the dental filling is in place, Dr. Ocharoen polishes the restoration to create a smooth surface on your tooth.
How do I know if I need a filling?
During your regularly scheduled dental checkups, Dr. Ocharoen closely examines your teeth for any signs of tooth decay that could lead to a cavity. She looks at the surface of each tooth where cavities commonly form. If you do have a cavity, it’s best to treat it with a dental filling before it leads to further tooth decay and more complicated dental procedures.
If you experience signs of cavities between dental visits, common symptoms that may indicate a need for a filling include:
- Tooth pain and sensitivity when chewing food
- Pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods and beverages
- Tooth pain when eating something sweet
- Visible staining on the surface of a tooth
If you do experience symptoms of a cavity between dental visits, don’t wait until your next appointment. The cavity could become larger and more complicated. Instead, call the office to schedule an exam or use the online booking tool to request the next available appointment. Evening and weekend appointments are often available.