The majority of people will experience a cavity throughout their lifetime. This means that most people will need to have a cavity filled throughout their lifetime. Understanding what to expect when having cavities filled can go a long way toward reducing your anxiety and ensuring that you have a more enjoyable experience. Our team at Hyde Park Dental, can help to guide you through the cavity filling process to ensure that you know what to expect. Here are a few things that you should know about the process of having cavities filled.
How Long the Process Takes
Understanding how long the process takes can help you to plan accordingly. In most situations, the cavity filling process will require less than an hour. It may be accomplished in as little as 15 minutes in some situations! However, it is important to note that not all residual effects of the cavity filling process will be over at the end of your dental visit. Your mouth may be numb for several hours following the filling, so you will want to ensure that you plan for this.
Numbing the Area
The first step in having cavities filled is having the area numbed. This generally follows a multiple step process. First, a jelly-like substance will be applied to the affected area. After this, an anesthetic injection will be used to ensure that the area has been numbed thoroughly. This is usually sufficient for the cavity filling process. However, for individuals with particularly severe dental anxiety, nitrous oxide may be used to help them relax throughout the process.
Might Use a Rubber Dam
A rubber dam may be used to provide your dentist with better access to the affected tooth. There are other benefits to the use of a rubber dam, as well. It can help to provide protection to the rest of the mouth and can even prevent foreign particles from falling into the throat or surrounding area of the mouth.
Removal of Tooth Decay
The tooth decay will need to be removed in order to restore the condition of the tooth. This will be done with the use of a laser, air abrasion instrument, or drill. While many people are most concerned about this step, it is important to note that the anesthetic should render this part painless. After the tooth decay has been removed, the dentist will ensure that it is cleaned thoroughly to remove any particles from the surface of the tooth.
The removal of tooth decay leaves a hole behind in its place. This hole will need to be filled in in order to prevent bacteria from entering into the area. There are multiple materials that may be used for the filling, including amalgam, composite, metals, ceramic, and glass ionomer. When the filling has been implemented, the dentist will ensure that it is shaped and polished to match the other teeth in the mouth. They will also check to ensure that the filling won’t be detrimental to the bite of the individual.
Following the Filling
After you have had the cavity filled, you need to be aware that the numbness may last for several hours. Be particularly careful about what you eat during this time in order to prevent injuring yourself. It is also important to note that the cavity that has been filled may be sensitive to cold or hot food or beverages. This should subside over time.
Prevention tends to be the ideal strategy to protect your oral health. When you prevent cavities, you needn’t worry about the process of having them filled in the first place! Take care to brush your teeth twice every day for at least two minutes at a time. You also need to floss daily and visit your dentist twice every year. It is also important to be aware of what you are eating. Eating excessive amounts of sugar often results in cavities. Reducing your sugar consumption can be especially beneficial for the health of your teeth.
When you have cavities filled, you can help to prevent damage to your teeth and restore their condition. Our experts at Hyde Park Dental are dedicated to ensuring that you can obtain the most positive dental experiences possible. When you need to have a cavity filled, contact our team at Hyde Park Dental today!