Getting a Filling
Most everyone has had the unpleasant experience of cavities, and the most common remedy is a filling. But what is a filling and how do they work? And more importantly, how much does a filling cost?
First, let’s talk about how your Utah dentist decides whether or not you need a filling. First, he’ll do a basic examination. He’ll use his precise dental instruments to explore for decay. Decay can be found with color, but also by touch; decayed enamel is not the same density as healthy enamel.
X-rays are important for discovering decay between the teeth, where it’s hard to see with the eyes alone. X-rays are also important for looking at layers of the teeth under the enamel, and under the gums.
Remember that fillings aren’t just used for decay and cavities. Some teeth need fillings or other dental procedures, including cosmetic procedures, due to cracked, broken or worn teeth. In some cases, veneers might be the best choice, but in other cases fillings are the more practical and affordable solution.
The first step in receiving a filling is local anesthesia, which usually comes in needle form. Then the dentist will use a drill and remove the decayed parts of the tooth. The space of the tooth that has been removed needs to be formed to receive the filling as well. Depending on how deep the filling is, the dentist will take precautions to protect and preserve the more sensitive parts of the tooth.
Making sure the filling bonds sufficiently with the tooth is important. For this reason, multiple bonds are formed. A bonding material is used to secure the composite material that is placed in the tooth. Sometimes, the area of the filling is etched, to further improve the bonding. Fillings can fall out, so this bonding process is very important.
After the filling is placed, your dentist will use special tools to finish and polish the tooth that has been the subject of the work. Some sensitivity is common directly after the procedure, but should decrease after one or two weeks. If there is severe or persisting pain, go see your dentist.