Getting A Dental Filling? Know What To Expect

Posted on: 17 May 2022

Do you have a cavity that needs a dental filling, but you've never had a cavity before? If so, you likely will want to know what to expect.

Anesthesia Will Likely Be Used 

It is incredibly common for a dentist to use anesthesia to numb the part of the mouth they will be working on. This is to ensure that you do not feel any pain while the decay is being removed. Once the anesthesia has been injected into your gums, your dentist will leave you in the room for a few minutes for the medication to take effect. 

However, if you have a very shallow cavity, the dentist may just quickly remove the decay and finish prepping the tooth, and anesthesia will not be necessary.

Decay Will Be Removed

Once your tooth is nice and numb, your dentist will start the process of removing the decay from the tooth. Sometimes the dentist will use a decay-detecting dye that allows them to identify decay that they are unable to see, which is used to ensure that there is none left in the tooth. It works by staining the part of the tooth that still has decay, and then that part of the tooth is removed. 

One thing that you may notice is that the dentist is going to be spraying your tooth with a lot of water. This is to keep the tooth cold since they do not want the tooth to get too hot from removing the decay and potentially damaging the tooth. 

Filling Material Will Be Placed In The Tooth

You will likely have a resin filling material inserted into the tooth, which is white in color and will blend in with your natural tooth's surface. Sometimes a dentist will use an amalgam filling, which is silver in color but is typically for rear molars that can benefit from the added strength they provide. 

The filling material will be sculpted to fit the natural bite of your mouth. Your dentist will have you bite down on a film material to see where your teeth are touching, and make adjustments if necessary. Since your mouth is numb, you may not be able to tell if your bite is off on your own. 

Soreness And Sensitivity Are Expected

A dental filling is not going to cause you pain after it is finished. However, a filling can cause you to feel some soreness and sensitivity to cold. Give your tooth some time to adjust, and reach out to your dentist if you experience pain.

If you have additional questions, talk to a dentist near you.