As children, a dental filling was most likely the first major procedure you experienced at the dentist’s office. While this is a simple procedure, it is essential for maintaining overall oral health and hygiene, especially for individuals who are prone to cavities, disease, and decay. Here at Scripps Poway Dental Care, we offer a broad range of filling types designed to help improve a person’s tooth health, as well as overall bite and comfort.
A filling is a synthetic or amalgam material inserted into a tooth to replace decayed or destroyed pulp or tooth structure. The most common reason a person requires a filling is because they have developed a cavity, which is when plaque manages to eat through the hard enamel of the tooth and starts to eat away at the softer interior.
The first step to receiving a filling is to visit a dentist, who will use the initial appointment to perform a visual and tactile exam of the teeth’s health. During the exam, the dentist might take x-rays, which will reveal pockets of decay. A metal pick can also detect hollowness and soft patches.
Once it has been determined that a filling is needed, the dentist numbs the area with a local anesthetic and then scrapes out the damaged or decay from the tooth. Once done, the interior is sanitized and cleaned of bacteria. The filling is then inserted in thin liquid layers to ensure all of the pockets are reached and covered. In the end, the filling is hardened and then scraped to suit the overall structure of the tooth.
Fillings come in a variety of sizes and materials, with the most common being amalgam, gold, and synthetic resins. Resin is the preferred material because it doesn’t break down easily and also matches the overall color of the teeth.
Most people realize they need fillings when they experience tooth pain or their dentist discovers a cavity or hollow during a regular checkup. In San Diego, California, you can visit the professionals Scripps Poway Dental Care for quality dental care.