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Dental Fillings

dental fillings

So many of us are on autopilot with our dental work. We brush, we floss, we rinse, we may even curb our diets - but typically, we follow our dental schedule blindly. Exam, x-ray, cleaning, occasional filling or root canal, etc. But few of us take the time to understand the actual work being done in our own mouths. Dental fillings, among the most common procedures performed, are a bit of a mystery to some. We know their value - enclosing the open cavities in our teeth with sealant to maintain the tooth's integrity and prevent infection. Here is a primer on the actual process of filling your tooth.

The dentist will begin by preparing his or her work area within the problem area of your mouth. That is, he or she will locate and isolate the tooth being worked on, to avoid disturbing the surrounding teeth. Some patients - mainly children, but some adults - may require an object to be inserted between the jaws to hold them open for the filling. The dentist will also insert a "trap" of sorts to keep any loose pieces of tooth from falling down the throat. When performing a filling on a cavity between teeth, the dentist will isolate the tooth with a wedge.

We are all familiar with the small, sucking hose the dentist frequently uses in our mouths. This will be used here, of course, to clear your mouth of saliva for the procedure. Next, the dentist will apply an anesthetic cream onto your gums in preparation for your Novocaine injection. Typically, by the time the cream has taken effect and numbed your gums, you won't feel much (if any) pain from the Novocaine shot.

Now, the dentist is ready to remove the cavity. He or she will drill the tooth, grinding away the decayed portions (as deep as the cavity goes) in preparation for the filling. The filling will be applied as a paste; your dentist will insert it into the appropriate areas of the tooth and use ultraviolet light to dry and harden it.


Of course, none of us want bulges of excess filling paste on our teeth. Uneven fillings can be annoying and require future dental visits to even them out. To avoid this, the dentist will then reshape the filling material to conform to the shape of the tooth itself. Once the tooth is properly filled and molded to its proper shape, the dentist will perform a quick clean-up procedure on the tooth (typically a basic buff and shine) to complete the procedure.

Recovery from a filling is generally very simple and fast. Novocain wears off within a few hours, and you shouldn't experience anything beyond tingle or fatigue in your jaw.


Save 40% to 50% on dental fillings when you become a Careington member!  Never pay retail for dental work again. 03

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