With more than 3 million cavities diagnosed every year in the United States, you are not alone if you or your child has a cavity. Cavities are the number one reason kids miss school and Today.com reported that 90% of adults, have had a cavity at some point in their life. If you have recently been told you have a cavity, your next question is likely, “Now what?”
The answer to that question will depend on the severity of the cavity. In cases where the cavity is discovered early, your dentist will want to perform a dental fillings procedure and have a conversation about the different types of fillings.
Dental Fillings Procedure
When filling a tooth, the dentist begins by administering a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth to reduce or eliminate any pain. The dentist will isolate the tooth to prevent contamination and keep it dry by using some kind of guard or dental appliance. He or she will then remove the decayed area of the tooth with a tool designed specifically for both the severity of the cavity and its location in your mouth. This can include the use of a laser, drill or air abrasion instrument which the dentist has received extensive training on.
Once the decay has been removed, the dentist will prepare the tooth for the filling by thoroughly cleaning it so you won’t have any bacteria, decay or debris causing future problems. The dentist will apply the filling material, which may require a special light to cure or harden the product (see types of fillings for more information on this). In the final step of the dental fillings procedure, the dentist will test your bite to ensure proper alignment and then polish so the filling is as smooth as your other teeth.