Fillings | Dentist in Waterford MI
What is a filling?
When your teeth are beginning to decay, a small hole will develop, compromising the integrity of your tooth. Fillings are a way to remove the decay and replace the affected tooth structure. Using a composite resin, the dentist will fill the hole in your tooth with this material to prevent further decay and/or infection. If cavity-ridden teeth are left untreated, eventual root canal or extraction would be necessary. Most cavities, however, are caught in a timely manner and can be treated easily and painlessly. So what happens when you need a dental filling?
How is the filling done?
The area around the affected tooth will be numbed with local anesthetic by your dentist. Once the area has been sufficiently anesthetized, the dentist will use an instrument to remove the decayed portion of the tooth. The type of instrument used may vary from dentist to dentist, depending on his personal preference and experience. Once the decayed section of the tooth has been removed, the dentist will probe the area to verify all the decay has been removed and the tooth is ready for its filling.
The area to be filled will be thoroughly cleaned to remove remaining bacteria and debris. In some cases, the decay is located near the root of your tooth, which means the dentist will have to insert a glass ionomer liner or composite resin to shield the nerve from damage. After the root has been protected, if necessary, the dentist will apply the tooth-colored filling in layers, allowing each layer to harden under a special light that assists in this hardening process. After each layer is applied, the material will be shaped, trimmed of excess material and polished.
What material your dentist uses will depend on the degree of the decay, the cost of the filling material, what your insurance company covers and what the dentist’s expert opinion is regarding the best material suited for your specific dental needs. Most dental fillings consist of gold; porcelain; silver amalgam consisting of mercury combined with silver, tin, zinc and copper; or tooth-colored plastic and glass composite resin fillings.