The Dental Fillings Process

Receiving Your Dental Filling at Thomas W. Kauffman, DDS, PC

A healthy smile not only contributes to our overall well-being but also enhances our confidence and self-esteem. Dental fillings play a crucial role in restoring both the functionality and aesthetics of damaged teeth, enabling individuals to enjoy a pain-free and beautiful smile. Whether it’s treating small cavities (dental caries) or restoring a larger area of tooth decay, dental fillings have become a routine procedure, ensuring optimal oral health and dental longevity.

To learn more about dental fillings, contact our Atlanta dentist by calling (404) 524-1981 to set up an appointment.

looking inside the mouth at dental fillings

The Dental Filling Process

The dental filling procedure may change for you depending on the type of dental filling material, such as amalgam fillings or gold filings, you’re receiving.

Examination and Diagnosis

Our Atlanta dentist begins by examining the tooth and taking X-rays to assess the extent of the damage. The X-rays taken will provide a detailed view of the teeth and can reveal cavities between teeth or beneath the surface. Digital imaging techniques like intraoral cameras may also be used to capture detailed images of the affected tooth.

They’ll ask about your symptoms, such as tooth sensitivity and pain. Based on the findings, our dentist will determine if a dental filling is necessary.

Numbing the Area

To begin the cavity-filling process, our dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area around the affected tooth. This ensures that the patient remains comfortable throughout the process.

In most cases, a rubber dam or cotton rolls will be used to isolate the tooth being treated. This keeps the tooth dry and prevents contamination from saliva.

Removing the Decay

Using specialized dental instruments, Dr. Thomas Kauffman carefully removes the decayed portion of the tooth. The area is then thoroughly cleaned to eliminate any bacteria or debris. The tooth is then shaped and cleaned to create a suitable surface for the filling material to adhere to. This may involve etching the tooth with a mild acid to improve bonding.

Filling Placement

Once the tooth is prepared, the chosen filling material is applied in layers. For composite fillings, the material is applied incrementally and hardened using a special light. The dentist sculpts and shapes the filling to match the natural contours of the tooth, ensuring proper functionality and aesthetics.

Bite Adjustment and Polishing

After the filling material has hardened, the dentist checks the patient’s bite and makes any necessary adjustments to ensure proper alignment. The filling is then polished, providing a smooth surface that feels natural within the mouth.

dentist performing a deep cleaning for a patient

Aftercare

After your dental filling is placed, be sure to follow proper aftercare to ensure a successful recovery.

Sensitivity and Discomfort

It’s common to experience some sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures after the procedure. This sensitivity usually subsides within a few days to a week. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage any discomfort.

Resuming Normal Activities

You can typically resume normal activities immediately after the procedure. However, it’s a good idea to avoid chewing on hard or sticky foods for a day or two.

Oral Hygiene

Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly. It’s important to keep the filled tooth and the surrounding area clean to prevent further decay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the dental filling process painful?

During the dental filling process, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area being treated. This ensures that you don’t experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure. However, some patients may feel slight pressure or sensitivity during the removal of decayed material.

How long does a dental filling procedure typically take?

A single dental filling appointment can be completed in 30 minutes to an hour. The duration of a dental filling procedure can vary depending on the size and location of the cavity being treated. More extensive cavities may require multiple appointments or additional time for preparation and placement of the filling material.

Can a dental filling fall out or become loose?

While dental fillings are designed to be long-lasting, there’s a possibility of a filling becoming loose or falling out over time. This can occur due to factors such as tooth decay or damage to the filling material. If you notice a filling becoming loose or dislodging, it’s important to contact your dentist as soon as possible.

Schedule a Dental Appointment Today!

The dental filling procedure is vital in dentistry as it restores damaged teeth and promotes oral health. With various tooth filling options available, our skilled dentist can precisely place durable and aesthetically pleasing materials. By prioritizing regular check-ups and addressing cavities promptly, individuals can maintain a healthy smile and prevent further complications.

Contact our Atlanta dentist today by calling (404) 524-1981 to schedule a consultation.

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