Filling Cavities: The Whole Story

Dentist Blog

Many people detest visits to the dentist because they are afraid of suffering pain. But the real cause of their fear is their lack of knowledge regarding what the dentist will do to them. Lying on your back in a dentist chair, feeling helpless while the dentist probes your mouth is bad enough. But if you don't know what to expect, your imagination can get carried away and you can end up being afraid for no logical reason. Learning exactly what happens when your dentist fills a cavity can alleviate some of that fear.

  1. After doing a general examination and taking X-rays, your dentist will locate a tooth that is decayed.
  2. If it is simply hard for you to keep your mouth open wide for 15 to 20 minutes straight, your dentist will place a plastic or rubber bite block between your upper and lower teeth.
  3. If your cavity is between two teeth, your dentist will insert a metal wedge between the adjacent teeth so that the healthy tooth is not damaged by work done on the decayed tooth.
  4. Next, your dentist will put something called a "dental dam" in your mouth, to prevent debris (from drilling) from entering your throat.
  5. A plastic hose will be inserted in the side of your mouth to suction excess saliva during the treatment.
  6. Your dentist will then rub anesthetic gel on your gum with his finger or a Q-tip. Once the anesthetic takes effect, he will inject you with Novocain or another anesthetic. You should hardly feel any pain during the injection.
  7. Once the anesthetic takes effect your dentist will begin drilling the cavity. The drill may make an annoying noise, and you may smell a burning scent.
  8. Once all of the decay is removed from your tooth, your dentist will prepare a filling paste.
  9. With a thin spatula like instrument, your dentist will then fill the drilled area with the paste. He or she will use a UV light source to harden the filling. The light looks like a miniature flashlight at the end of a tube.
  10. Once the filling begins to harden, your dentist will use another drill to shape it so it fits the shape of your tooth. Afterwards, the dentist will ask you to bite down on something to see that the filling does not protrude beyond your tooth.
  11. Finally, your dentist will clean and polish your tooth.

Once your tooth has been filled and cleaned, you can get out of the dentist chair and leave. It will probably take several hours for the anesthetic to wear off, and during that time you may experience sensations of tingling and heaviness around the injection site. Hopefully, this article has reduced your fear of fillings. For more information, contact a dentist like Dr. Scott Macpherson yourself.


4 March 2015

Baby Tooth as an Adult? You Are Not Alone

It was my secret for a long time, but I am finally sharing it -- I was an adult who still had a baby tooth. My dentist told me it shifted when my adult teeth came in instead of falling out. He also said I should have it pulled before it started causing dental problems, but I decided to keep it for a while. One day, during a dental check-up, my dentist found a cavity on the tooth next to it. He told me it was time to have it extracted, as it was close to the other tooth and making it hard for me to clean it. I had it taken out, and I don't miss it. I created this blog to tell other people with baby teeth as adults that they are not alone. Also, they can cause problems, so have them pulled if your dentist suggests it.