A dental filling is a process that helps restore the function of your tooth. Typically, your dentist will use a dental filling if you have a cavity. A cavity is a small pit of decay that forms on the enamel—the protective layer on your teeth.
When a cavity develops, it begins to burrow through the layers of your teeth. Without treatment, you can experience pain, sensitivity, infection, or tooth loss. Therefore, your dentist will halt the decay.
Generally, the process of getting a dental filling is relatively painless. This is due to a local anesthetic that your dentist will place on your teeth. If the cavity is relatively small, it is likely that you won’t feel any pain or discomfort. However, larger cavities mean deeper drilling, which may cause soreness. If the cavity is severe, your dentist may need to perform a root canal to save the tooth.
Before your dentist begins the procedure, they will take x-rays of your mouth. This will allow them to see the full extent of your cavity. It is possible that the damage to your tooth is more significant beneath the surface. Therefore, x-rays help your dental team make a full plan of action for your cavity.
Once your team has a good idea of the decay, they will use a local anesthetic to numb the area completely. They may use a numbing gel on your gums to minimize any discomfort from the anesthetic injection.
After ensuring you are numb, your dentist will begin to drill into your tooth. You won’t feel any pain as they drill; you will only feel pressure. Then, they will remove any decay that is in your tooth.
After removing the decay, your dentist will thoroughly clean and disinfect your tooth. This will make sure that you don’t develop an infection or any further deterioration. Then, they will seal your tooth using a composite resin. This material provides structure to your tooth and protection from bacteria.
Dental Filling Complications
It is unlikely that you will experience any complications following your dental filling. This is because it is one of the most common procedures that your dentist will perform every single day. They have a lot of practice!
However, it is possible to develop an infection after a dental filling. This can occur if there are some bacteria left behind. In addition, sometimes dental fillings can pull away from the teeth, leaving room for bacteria to enter the tooth. Unfortunately, this can cause an infection.
Another complication that you can experience after a dental filling is damage from the drill. Although it is unlikely, your dentist can damage your tooth, gums, nerves, or blood vessels with the drill. In addition, they are using a tool, which means there is still room for user error.
With any dental procedure, there is a risk of complications—no matter how small. However, it is unlikely that you have to worry about anything serious with a dental filling.