Recent statistics from the CDC reveal that 57% of adolescents (age range of 12 to 19) have had a cavity in one of their permanent teeth. For adults over 20 years old, approximately 90% have had at least one cavity. You may feel anxious about the process when you need a dental cavity filling. You may wonder what happens next and whether it will hurt.
The good news is that a cavity procedure is simple, and the pain is minimal. It is essential to your overall health that you let a dentist fill your cavity, so do not let anxiety keep you from making an appointment.
Knowledge is power. It will also help alleviate your worries. Keep reading to understand better how easy the process is and what to expect so you can put your concerns to rest.
Get an Examination
This is your first step. You need a professional dentist to determine that you have a dental cavity. If you have a cavity, you need to take care of it as soon as you can.
When you do not seek treatment for your cavity, it can lead to further decay, infection, and pain. A brief examination can locate this issue. A dentist can take an x-ray, use a dye that shows areas of decay, or test your teeth’ strength with a metal instrument.
With a thorough examination, you will know what the dentist recommends for restoring your tooth. Then, you can schedule an appointment for the cavity procedure.
Filling a Cavity
The procedure is non-invasive. You do not need to fast. Still, brush your teeth as you would normally.
Dental care experts recommend that people who experience anxiety from filling a cavity schedule an appointment early in the morning. That way, you won’t worry all day and can feel better when you leave for the rest of the day.
How long it can take depends on your condition. It also depends on how many cavities you have. Each filling generally will take less than an hour.
Does a Cavity Fill Hurt?
The dentist will likely apply a local anesthetic to numb your tooth and the area surrounding it. They may use an injection or a topical gel. If it is an injection, it feels like a tiny pinprick.
There are other options for people with severe anxiety but know that filling a cavity is only a minor irritation. The topical gel or injection from a professional dentist is often sufficient to keep you comfortable.
Preparing Your Damaged Tooth
Once your tooth is numb, the dentist can begin the cavity procedure. First, they will remove the damaged or decayed area. They may use water to loosen potential debris or a handheld instrument to remove decay.
The dental assistant will help during the procedure with a small suction device. This gets rid of the material. Further, the dentist may also remove decaying or damaged parts of the tooth with a laser.
After this, the dentist will clean the tooth by applying a gel. They will remove any debris that may be remaining or potential bacteria. Then, the dentist will fill in the area.
Filling a Cavity
A newer approach is to use composite resin fillings. Filling resin in your tooth can also be called tooth-colored fillings, white fillings, or direct veneers. Bits of silica make up this filling, and the dentist covers it with a plastic resin compound.
As a finishing touch, the dentist may quickly polish your restored tooth. This ensures you have a tooth that looks and feels natural. Next, the dentist will ask that you bite down on carbon paper to determine if the filling could be too high.
If it is too high, then the dentist will file it down. Lining it up to your natural bit and ensuring it lines up with the rest of your teeth is vital. This way, you will not experience challenges eating.
Not only that but adequately lining up the filling with your teeth will help to protect it from damage.
Taking Care of Your Cavity Filling
Fillings are strong, but you can damage them if you are not careful. That is why practicing the proper care after your procedure is essential. You may feel discomfort for the first few hours, but it will pass.
The best advice is to use a healthy oral hygiene routine daily. This means you must brush your teeth, floss, and use a mouthwash. You do not need to change how you brush your teeth when you have a filling, so continue to brush as you usually do.
Using a brand of toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help to prevent further decay and protect your enamel. To kill bacteria, use mouthwash with fluoride daily.
Understanding the Process of a Dental Cavity Filling
Now that you have a full scope of the process, you can see that it is nothing to lose sleep over. If you need a dental cavity filling, make an appointment today before it worsens! The best thing to do when you have a cavity is to take care of it as soon as possible.
Your oral health is critical to enjoying a healthy lifestyle. That is why we publish articles like this one daily. Therefore, please don’t leave us yet! We have many more articles with advice to keep you living your best life. Keep clicking because you know we have the best tips to live well and prosper!