Dental restorations known as fillings are the most common procedure completed. These are used to repair minor fractures in the tooth, decay or structural damage, as well as sensitivity to the surface. Composite, silver amalgam or porcelain are all used to create the filling that will repair the tooth damage.
During your oral exam, X-rays are taken and the Doctor then determines how many surfaces of a tooth will need fillings. Many things will come into play when determining what type of filling can be used, or if a filling is appropriate. Your biting force, cost and durability for the location of the filling and medical history are all important factors to be taken into consideration. Some teeth will not hold up with a specific type of filling material. Therefore, another may be suggested.
The tooth and all of the surrounding area will be prepared so the restoration can begin. If you opt for anesthesia such as Novocain, this will be administered prior to starting. A handheld device or even a laser can be used by Dr. French to remove the decayed areas or structural damage. The area is then cleaned so that no debris or bacteria can become trapped between the filling and the inside of the cavity. The damaged area is isolated so that moisture does not compromise the area. An adhesive is then used in the cavity, and the filling material is then added in. It will be smoothed over so that there is no difference between the edge of the filling and the natural surface of the tooth, to ensure that no chipping, breaking or snagging can occur. Afterwards, a bonding light will be used to help seal your filling. The Doctor may suggest using a sealant over the entire tooth, depending on other health issues you may have.
You can care for your new filling just as you do all of your other teeth. Flossing and brushing daily as well as keeping regular appointments with the dentist will help to extend the life of your filling.