Although cavity fillings are common and straightforward, most dental patients want to know and understand the entire process.
Dr. Rebecca Marsh and the team of oral healthcare professionals at Hillcrest Dental Arts, located near you in the 92103 area code of San Diego, California, want to educate their patients, current and new, on the step-by-step procedure of filling a cavity.
Whether a patient is visiting their dentist for a check-up or for a toothache, the dentist will conduct an examination and look for signs of tooth decay. Decay is soft spots in the tooth’s structure. The dentist is able to determine the size of the affected area and the necessary plan for restoration.
If the decayed area is large, there will be a concern that the decay has spread to the tooth’s root. An x-ray, or digital imaging, will show the extent of the damage within the entire tooth. From the imaging, the dentist can then determine whether a filling or a root canal will be the needed treatment.
Regardless of the restorative treatment, the decay needs to be removed. Decay is removed with either a drill or a laser, and the goal is to keep as much of the natural tooth intact. If too much of the tooth is decayed and removed, then the dentist will consider a dental crown.
The most important step after the decay is removed is the cleaning. Generally, cleaning is all that is required to restore the health of the tooth. In the cases of severe decay, antibiotics may be prescribed to eliminate any remaining infection.
A filling is placed to restore the shape and the functionality of the tooth. When a filling is placed in the area where the decay was removed, the dentist will ensure the ridges are accurate for the bite to feel normal and comfortable.
The most popular type of filling is composed of tooth-colored resin. The resin is applied, shaped and hardened with a special light. The end result is a natural-looking tooth that is completely functional.
In some dental offices, amalgam fillings are still used. These fillings are made from a composite of several metals and are silver in color.
If you would like a consultation for additional information on the procedures for filling a cavity, then please contact the oral healthcare professionals at Hillcrest Dental Arts, located in San Diego, California, where new patients are always welcome.
Hillcrest Dental Arts is trusted and highly recommended in the treatment of tooth decay, as well as other treatments and procedures in general and cosmetic dentistry.