Let’s admit it – almost everyone can have cavities. So, it is no surprise that all of us will have our teeth filled. But come to think of it – some people are unaware of how a dental filling procedure happens. Let us now look at how this restorative treatment works and what instruments and machines your dentist uses to perform such a procedure.
Dental fillings: A Brief Overview
Tooth fillings treat tooth decay, preventing further damage and tooth loss and the possibility of pain and infection. A filling seals a hole, or cavity, in the tooth.
There are different types of fillings based on the filling material:
- Amalgam fillings: Amalgam is a silver alloy made up of other metals like copper, tin, and mercury. These dental amalgam fillings could be better for the rear molars. The material is long-lasting and durable.
- Composite resin fillings: These are tooth-coloured fillings consisting of resin and glass.
- Glass ionomer fillings: It’s also tooth-coloured and made of powdered glass that adheres to the teeth. Fluoride is released by these fillings, which helps to prevent tooth decay.
- Ceramic: Tooth-colored fillings (typically composed of porcelain) that are less likely than a composite filling to reveal tooth stains over time. However, the cost is considered—porcelain fillings may cost nearly as much as gold cavity fillings.
- Gold fillings: An alloy of copper, gold, and other metals make up the substance. These are the most long-lasting fillings, lasting 20 years or more.
Dental Filling Procedure
A filling usually takes an hour or less. A basic filling may be completed in as little as 20 minutes. Onlays and inlays may now be made in one session at many dental practices, while more significant or numerous fillings may take longer.
The Preparation and Procedure
Filling a cavity may be uncomfortable, but it should not be painful. Dentists improve patient comfort throughout the filling treatment by administering a local anesthetic before starting the procedure. It works by temporarily blocking pain signals passed from the tooth’s nerves to the brain. After that, the dentist “prepares” the mouth by inserting a rubber dam along the tooth to be filled. Some dentists put a soft triangular-shaped piece of rubber called a “bite block” between the lower and upper teeth to maintain the jaw open.
The dentist will begin eliminating tooth decay when your mouth has been prepped for the filling. To clean out the decaying area of the tooth, he could utilise several dental tools and machines. A high-speed dental handpiece, sometimes known as a dental drill, sprays water as the dentist works. It slides easily through the decaying region of the tooth, removing the affected area. The dental assistant uses a high-volume suction to remove water and debris from the teeth during this time. A suction device known as a “saliva ejector/low-volume suction” eliminates extra water from the mouth, so it does not be swallowed. A slow-speed dental handpiece and numerous hand instruments are used to stop any lingering decay.
To repair the tooth, he will utilize the dental filling material you and your dentist opted to use (composite resin material, metal fillings, or temporary fillings.) If the cavity is not in the centre of the tooth’s biting surface but somewhat between the permanent teeth, the dentist will place a metal “matrix” ring around the tooth to allow the tooth’s walls to heal. He’ll also insert a wedge between the two teeth to keep the filling from touching the adjoining teeth. This keeps food from becoming stuck between your teeth while you chew. When the type of filling is ready to use, the dentist will use an amalgam carrier to put it within the tooth. He compacts it by pressing it down and carving it to look like a natural tooth. Afterwards, your dentist polishes and adjusts it so that your bite feels normal.
Aftercare of a Dental Filling
The dentist may recommend not eating or drinking until the numbing medication wears off. This is to prevent a person from accidentally biting their tongue or the inside of their cheek.
If you experience pain, expect it to feel like a bit of discomfort, not a full-blown toothache. For minor soreness, over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help.
Meanwhile, many patients complain of sudden sensitivity to hot or cold foods after their dental fillings. This may be caused by mild irritation of the tooth nerve during the procedure, so you can expect this to improve over time. However, if your sensitivity persists, report it to your dentist. In some cases, the sensitivity can result from shrinking composite fillings, gum irritation, or worsening inflammation of the gums.
Now that you understand what happens during your dental filling procedure, you are now aware of how important choosing the right dentist with the suitable instruments and machines is in preserving your safety and comfort. Without the right air compressor, a good dentist would find it difficult to perform the drilling or removal of your tooth decayed area. It will also be challenging for them to fit the filling materials to retain the tooth structure. The correct dental air compressor allows dentists to efficiently use their dental handpieces in filling in the gaps and holes using dental filling options to protect your tooth from further decay.
If you are a dentist and want to upgrade your dental practice with the right dental equipment and instruments, look no further than Critical Dental! We have products from established and well-known brands approved by the Australian Dental Association, like Cattani Compressors, that can improve the services of your dental office. For more information, contact us at (02) 8880 9257 and speak with one of our helpful representatives.