What to expect when you have a filling
A filling is a way to restore a damaged tooth back to its normal function and shape. If your dentist finds a cavity, they will decide on the best course of action. A dental filling is better suited for minor decay, but if your tooth decay is more severe, other types of treatment such as a dental implant or crown may be needed.
If you require a filling, do not worry about it being painful as you will be given local anaesthetic so the area around the affected tooth becomes numb. However for less severe cases, anaesthetic may not even be required.
Once the area is sufficiently numb, your dentist will then prepare the tooth to get rid of the decayed part of the tooth. Once this has been removed, your dentist will then clean away any bacteria or debris. The cleaned cavity will then be filled with a material outlined below.
Types of fillings
- Amalgam fillings – amalgam fillings are silver in appearance and are resistant to damage. However, because of their dark colouring, they are more noticeable than other types of fillings and are not normally used in visible areas.
- Composite fillings – composite fillings are tooth coloured and used for small and large fillings, especially in the front teeth and visible parts of teeth. The composite filling can be bonded directly to the tooth, meaning less drilling is involved than amalgam fillings as the decayed hole does not need to be shaped to fit the filling securely.
- Porcelain fillings – also known as inlays or onlays, porcelain fillings are created in a dental lab and then bonded to the tooth. They are matched to the colour of your tooth and are resistant to staining. A porcelain filling generally covers most of the tooth instead of filling a hole. Find out more about inlays and onlays here.
After the filling is complete, your mouth will still feel numb for a few hours as the anaesthetic wears off, so it is best to be mindful of what you eat and drink. If you would like more information about how to take care of your new filling, have a look at our blog “A Guide to Aftercare: How to Take Care of Your New Filling”.
You may also feel some sensitivity to hot and cold foods/drinks, however this should disappear within a few days. In the meantime, there are toothpastes you can use to ease the sensitivity, ask your dentist for recommendations.
If you already have amalgam fillings and are not happy with their appearance, why not change these to white fillings? If the decay is not too serious, we can remove any old fillings and restore the tooth with a white filling. For more information, visit our White Fillings page.
We understand that the thought of having a filling can be unnerving, if you would like more information or have any questions about having a filling, we’re here to help. Please contact our team on 01952 460119 or fill in our enquiry form.
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