When bacteria causes tooth decay, it continues to eat away at the tooth material causing a cavity until it is stopped. If it isn’t stopped in time, it will reach the pulp of the tooth where the nerve lies and cause pain and potentially even the death of the tooth. A dental filling is a way to stop the progression of decay and restore the tooth to its normal function and shape.
When Dr. Thomas gives you a filling in his Owasso office, he will first remove the decayed tooth material, then he will clean out the affected area and fill the cleaned space with a dental filling material. By cleaning out the decayed portions of the tooth, disinfecting the space and then closing it off with the filling material, bacteria is prevented from entering and continuing the decay process.
What to expect during a cavity filling procedure:
Local anesthetic. Before beginning, Dr. Thomas will apply a local anesthetic to numb the area surrounding the affected tooth. This will keep you from feeling pain during the procedure.
Removal of tooth decay. Dr. Thomas will remove the decayed tooth material. After he’s removed all the decayed area of the tooth, he’ll shape the cavity space so that it is ready for a filling.
Resin application. For certain types of fillings, Dr. Thomas will apply a resin and harden it using an intensely bright light focused on it.
Polishing. Finally, the filled tooth will be polished to smooth it.
No one type of filling is best for everyone or every circumstance. Many people have different types of fillings to serve different purposes. Materials used for dental fillings include gold, porcelain, composite resin (tooth-colored fillings) and amalgam (silver-colored fillings).
Composite resin fillings are matched to the color of your natural teeth to create an appealing appearance. The resin is mixed and placed into the cleaned out cavity where it is hardened by an intense light. Composite fillings are best for highly visible teeth with smaller cavities and may not be the best choice for large cavities. The downsides to composite fillings are that they can become stained by some foods, tobacco or some medications and they do not last as long as some of the other types of fillings.