Dental Filling Hood River, Oregon
As your teeth age, you will frequently develop areas where decay has set in and eaten into the tooth. Some cavities are only on the surface of the tooth, while some penetrate deep into the tooth. Left untreated, a cavity can penetrate into the very inner pulp of the tooth and lead to problems such as pain, infection, and complete loss of the tooth. If we have informed you that you have a cavity—or if your teeth have been damaged through the wear and tear of everyday use and now have a crack or a break from them—the next step is to get a filling.
What is a filling?A filling is simply an area where your we have replaced damaged or decayed tooth material with a synthetic material. A properly prepared and placed filling will act exactly like your real tooth, so much so that you may even forget that you have it.
What is the procedure to have a filling placed?The first part of the process is to remove the decayed or damaged material in the tooth. We may use a specialized drill with a diamond-tipped bit on it to drill away the decayed material. More recent technological developments have resulted in lasers that may be used, as well. Although there really seems to be no reason to prefer one over the other, some patients prefer the laser simply because it lets them avoid hearing the high-pitched whirring of the drill.
At any rate, once the decay has been removed, we will probe around the area to ensure that all the decay is gone. If it is, he or she will begin to apply the filling material. Depending on how deep the cavity goes, we might first apply a protective coating over the pulp inside the tooth.
As the tooth material is placed into the hole in your tooth, we will shape it to match your original tooth. Once he or she is satisfied that everything is in place, he or she may use a special type of light that causes the filling material to harden into a tooth-like surface. This light is only used on specific types of filling material, so if we do not use it that probably only means that he or she is using a different type of filling material.
What do I do afterward?Before you get a filling, we will almost always numb the area. This means that after you finish getting the filling, your gum, tongue, and cheek may be numb for several hours. You should exercise extreme caution in eating during this time to ensure that you don’t bite yourself and cause an injury.
Once the numbness has worn off, you may treat your filling exactly like a normal tooth. Simply brush and floss it the way you usually would, and your filling should last for years to come.
Please contact us if you have any questions.