Just the Facts: Learn What to Expect if You Have a Dental Cavity
It can be disappointing to learn that you have a cavity during your dental examination, especially if you had thought you’d been caring for your teeth meticulously. The good news is that filling a cavity these days is essentially painless. To stop further decay and to stop stimuli like heat, cold, pressure, and acidic foods from reaching the tooth’s nerves and inducing pain or sensitivity, all that is needed is one more quick trip to the dentist.
Here is what to anticipate. Remember that when you visit California Dental Group, we will explain every step to you and be sure you understand after-care instructions when you receive a filling.
Get your dentist’s advice
Of course, the first step is for your dentist to provide you advice regarding the state of your tooth. The cavity could still be extremely small. Some dentists may advise monitoring the cavity rather than immediately filling it if it has not reached the dentin. The natural remineralization process may aid in restoring the tooth enamel and halting the deterioration.
Your dentist may suggest a more aggressive treatment, such as a dental crown, to treat the issue and safeguard your tooth if the cavity is particularly large or you have numerous cavities on one tooth. Let’s suppose for the time being, however, that we have a typical example with an average-sized cavity.
There are several types of fillings you could choose from
You may wish to get a metal filling or a white composite filling depending on a number of considerations, including your budget and your worries about the look of your teeth and smile. For fillings on rear teeth, metal fillings are a good option because they are less expensive. White composite fillings are more expensive, but they don’t stand out much on your teeth, so they won’t take away from how gorgeous your smile looks.
What to expect the day of your filling
Your dentist will schedule an appointment for you to have a filling as soon as possible if a cavity is discovered during a standard dental examination. You will receive local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth that needs a filling on this day when you come in.
The deteriorated area of the tooth surrounding the cavity will then be removed by the dentist using a specialized drill. This prevents microorganisms from the decayed tooth structure from becoming trapped behind the new filling, where they could continue to create issues.
Your metal or composite filling will then be inserted by the dentist after the region has been cleaned. A specialized light will be utilized in the case of a composite filling to activate chemicals in the composite material and cause it to swiftly solidify into place.
What to expect after the filling is complete
Your lips and gums will remain numb following a filling because of the local anesthetic. You might start to experience some sensitivity in the tooth that has the filling or even in teeth close by as this fades off. This is typical and will pass in about a week. Meanwhile, keep this sensitivity from being triggered by staying away from triggers like hot soup and cold beverages. Similar to how you would handle a tooth without a filling, you should take care to keep the tooth clean by brushing and flossing it every day. If you properly care for your filling, it should endure for many years.
If you have questions or are ready to talk to your local dentist, contact California Dental Group at (800) 407-0161 today.