What Happens When You Get a Dental Filling in Oakdale?
Before you freak out about having a cavity that needs to be filled, learn what actually happens when you get a dental filling in Oakdale. At Al Berger, DDS, we aim to give our patients a healthy smile and perform any necessary procedure they need to keep them that way. One of the most common dental procedures that most patients will receive in their life is a dental filling. Dental fillings are nothing to worry about. When dental decay or a cavity is found in your mouth, your dentist will need to remove it and then fill the tooth with a material to keep the tooth strong and bacteria-free. Find out what goes into your dental filling appointment in Oakdale.
Before you get a dental filling, there is usually a dental exam conducted beforehand. Whether you were experiencing tooth pain, saw something in your tooth, or you were due for your 6-month exam, our dentist will give you a complete dental exam. This will first consist of our dentist visually inspected your mouth searching for problems. He may also use a dental instrument to scrape away plaque and tartar and to check for tender gums. The dental exam is a crucial component for detecting cavities.
Once the visual exam is over, our Oakdale fillings dentist will take dental x-rays of your mouth to see if there are any underlying problems going on. Most cavities are hidden from the naked eye and will require x-rays to be taken to find it. X-rays will display a dark shadow on your teeth if there is decay or a cavity. Our dentist will use the x-rays to determine how big the cavity is and where he will need to drill your tooth at.
Tooth Decay is Removed
Now that your decay or cavity have been diagnosed, our dentist can begin the dental filling procedure. First, we will use a local anesthetic to numb your mouth so that you don’t feel a single thing during the dental filling. If for some reason you experience dental anxiety or find it difficult to sit still, you can discuss using sedation dentistry for your dental fillings procedure. Once your mouth is numb, our dentist will use a drill to make a small hole in your tooth to the area where the cavity is. From there, he will remove all of the tooth decay from your tooth.
Your Tooth is Cleaned
After the decay has been removed, our dentist will flush out the filling site to clean it. This is to ensure that no particles are left behind and that there are no bacteria in the tooth. Once your tooth is cleaned, the filling is then placed.
Dental Fillings are Placed and Hardened
Once the tooth decay is removed, Dr. Berger will then fill your tooth with tooth-colored composite material and then cure it with a special light. The composite material bonds to your tooth to give it strength and to maintain the tooth structure.
After your dental filling is placed, you should try to avoid the area for a few days in case your tooth feels a bit sore. If you feel sore, feel free to take an over the counter pain medication to ease the pain while your tooth heals. You should feel better in a few days and be free to go about your normal life. As for aftercare, make sure to brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist every 6 months. We will check on your fillings during each appointment to make sure it’s still in good condition. Composite fillings are typically replaced every 10 years or so.
Different Types of Fillings in Oakdale
Although our filling material of choice is a composite tooth colored filling, there are different types out there that serve different purposes. We might recommend a different filling material depending on your particular situation.
Silver Amalgam Fillings
One of the most common types of fillings out there is silver amalgam fillings. These are usually made of zinc, copper, silver and tin and 50% mercury. This type of filling is durable, strong and cheap to place. They can last up to 15 years however, they are not the most attractive filling choice. There are also concerns about the mercury in them causing mercury poisoning. Amalgam fillings can also change their shape with temperature changes which can cause pain as well as fractures in the tooth. If possible, we don’t recommend these fillings for the many downsides.
Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain and are colored to match your tooth. They are the most expensive option usually because they are larger fillings known as inlays and onlays. These are used when there is extensive damage to your tooth but not enough that requires a dental crown.
Another type of dental filling is gold fillings. Of course, these are expensive and actually not too common. A gold filling can, however, last for more than 15 years because it doesn’t corrode and is a sturdy option.
These are the fillings we typically use in our dental office. Composite fillings are tooth colored and are placed as a soft material and then cured using a light that hardens them. Although they cost more than amalgam fillings, they do not last as long. They do bond to the tooth which allows your tooth to keep its structure without resulting in fractures in the tooth.
Visit Your Oakdale Fillings Dentist Today
If you have a cavity that needs to be filled, don’t wait around. The longer you wait, the more risk you put your tooth at for developing an infection. Visit Al Berger, DDS in Oakdale today for your next dental filling. Give us a call or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.