Many people have experienced a cavity during their lifetime. One of the major problems with cavities is that they can result in additional damage to your teeth when you don’t have them repaired quickly. Due to this, it is essential to have a cavity filled as soon as possible to provide protection for your teeth. Understanding what to expect when getting a cavity filled will help you to alleviate anxiety and prepare yourself for the process. Here are some important things that you need to know when you need to get a cavity filled.
In most situations, it is both easier and healthier to prevent cavities from impacting your teeth in the first place. In order to this, you will need to care properly for your teeth. Ensure that you brush your teeth twice daily for at least two minutes at a time. You should also floss your teeth at least once every day. Other beneficial strategies to prevent cavities include using mouthwash, visiting your dentist on a regular basis, and reducing your overall consumption of sugar.
Numb the Area
When you are getting a cavity filled, the first thing your dentist will do is numb the area. They will often start with a jelly-like substance that will be spread over the tooth and the surrounding area. This will start the numbing process. Then the dentist will usually follow the jelly with an anesthetic injection to thoroughly numb the area. For individuals with severe dental anxiety, it is possible that they will use nitrous oxide for relaxation.
May Use a Rubber Dam
Depending on the dentist and the location of your tooth, it is possible that a rubber dam will be inserted at this point. This can help to provide better access to the tooth, as well as protection to the surrounding area. The use of a rubber dam can aid in preventing particles from falling into the throat and the mouth during the cavity filling process.
The removal of the decay is an essential component in having your cavity filled. Many believe that this is the “scariest” part of the process, but the anesthetic should ensure that the process is painless. During the removal of decay, your dentist will use a laser, air abrasion instrument, or drill to thoroughly remove all traces of decay from the surface of the tooth.
Once the decay has been removed, the dentist will take a moment to clean the area. This will help to ensure that the decay has effectively been removed and will also remove any remaining debris from the surface of the tooth.
Fill the Cavity
After the decay has been removed, a hole will be left where it previously was. This hole then needs to be filled in in order to protect the tooth. The filling aids in preventing bacteria from entering into the cavernous area and helps to prevent further decay from impacting the tooth. Once the filling has been placed, the dentist will polish and shape the filling to match the surrounding teeth. They will also ensure that the new filling doesn’t cause any problems with your bite.
How Long the Process Takes
In general, getting a cavity filled will take less than an hour, though this will differ depending on the specific situation. In some instances, a cavity filling may be finished in as little as 15 minutes.
Following the Cavity Filling
After you have had your cavity filled, it is important to know what to expect. Your mouth may remain numb from the anesthetic for several hours following the process. It is important to avoid eating or drinking any particularly hot foods or beverages during this time to avoid accidentally injuring yourself. The tooth that was filled may also be sensitive to heat or cold following the process. This tends to go away after a few days or weeks.
When you are getting a cavity filled, it is extremely beneficial to know what to expect. By understanding each step, you can help to prepare yourself for the upcoming process. If you have a cavity, it is important to contact our office to schedule your filling. To learn more about what to expect when getting a cavity filled or to schedule your appointment with us, contact us at Avenues Family Dentistry today!