NEW PATIENT OFFER
FREE Exam & X-Ray with $89
Initial Cleaning ($326 Value)
If you have never had a cavity, congratulations! If you have, you are not alone. About 78% of people have had at least one cavity by the time they reach age 17, according to a 2000 report by the U.S. Surgeon General. Fortunately there’s a time-tested treatment for cavities: the dental filling.
Fillings do just what the name implies — seal a small hole in your tooth (a cavity) caused by decay. This prevents the bacteria-induced decay from spreading further into your tooth. If untreated, the decay can continue to the sensitive inner pulp (nerve) tissue located in the root canal. Should that happen, a root canal treatment is necessary.
Before the filling, we conduct a clinical exam of the tooth with x-rays to determine the extent of the decay. The tooth will be anesthetized while we remove the decayed area of the tooth. If numbing injections normally provoke anxiety for you, please let us know. We can discuss medications, the use of nitrous oxide and other techniques to help with this. After the decay is removed, all debris is cleaned from the tooth and the filling material is applied.
What to Expect After Getting a Filling
The numbness caused by local anesthesia should wear off within a couple of hours. Until then, it’s best to avoid drinking hot or cold liquids and eating on the side of your mouth with the new filling. Some sensitivity to hot and cold is normal in the first couple weeks after getting a tooth filled. If sensitivity persists beyond that, or you have any pain when biting, please let us know. This could signal that a bite adjustment needs to be made to your filling. Continue to brush and floss as normal every day, and come in to the dental office at least twice per year for your regular checkups and cleanings. Tooth decay is a very preventable disease; with good oral hygiene and professional care, you can make your most recent cavity your last.
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