Why do we need dental fillings? Well, this treatment’s effectiveness lies in the type of damage cavities inflict on teeth. Cavities begin as a small hole or thinning of the existing enamel on the surface of the tooth. If this thinness in the enamel isn’t caught in time, the damage progresses to the interior of the tooth where gradually a hole, or cavity, is formed. A patient is usually aware once there is a bone-fide cavity because the newly exposed root inside of the tooth is full of nerves that react with pain when food particles work their way inside the tooth.
Most of us know dental fillings as the go-to treatment for damage caused to teeth by cavities. Dental fillings are one of the most commonly known dental treatments, and perhaps, the least understood. Fillings repair the damage and prevent further problems, but also leave behind unsightly evidence, usually silver areas on the surface of teeth that can be seen when the patient opens their mouth wide.
But is it the only material available for use? Nope! Today we have many materials to use in dental fillings. This silver material was the only option for most dentists decades ago when you might have gotten fillings originally as a child. This material, silver amalgam is still in use today because it’s such a reliable, resistant, and safe material to use intraorally. A different, particularly popular material is tooth-colored composite resin materials. These are the same color as patients’ teeth and do not leave behind unsightly and obvious indications that the patient has had dental work done.
To stop the pain, save the structure of the tooth, and prevent further damage from the cavity, Dr. Smith or Levine will employ a dental filling. The doctor will start by thoroughly cleaning the affected area of the cavity and making sure that all signs of decay are removed. If tooth decay is still present, the structure of the tooth may still be compromised and the filling may not work and even cause further problems down the road. At this point, the tooth is usually ready for the filling. The doctor will apply the filling, finish it, and polish it. If you’re using a tooth-colored filling, extra steps must be taken to thoroughly ‘set’ the material in layers using a special light.
Of course, Dr. Smith, Dr. Levine, and the staff at Kennestone Dental Designs in Marietta will explain this entire process to you beforehand to make sure you’re comfortable, and help you decide on a filling material that’s best for you. Our experienced staff will do our absolute best to ensure that your experience is comfortable and pain-free. All fillings use anesthetics to numb the affected area to give you a painless experience.
After the procedure, one of our doctors will give you further steps and advice on how to care for your new fillings and any precautions you will need to take immediately following the filling procedure to help the affected area heal. Taking care of our patients is our priority at Kennestone Dental Designs, so we go above and beyond to make sure all patients are happy, healthy, and comfortable!