Do You Need Dental Fillings?
There are many ways a dentist may determine is a filling is necessary on a tooth. This can be done by various methods which include:
Observation: During a dental exam, the dentist may detect colored spots on teeth which could indicate decay. In order to take a closer look, instruments are used to determine the health of a tooth. An explorer, a metal dental instrument with sharp tip, is used to investigate. This honed instrument must be used with caution. A healthy tooth has hard enamel and resists pressure. However, a tooth with decay has soft enamel. Only dental professionals should use these instruments because they have the potential to damage healthy teeth or spread bacteria.
Dye: Cavity-detecting dye can be rinsed over teeth during a dental appointment. The dye will indicate decayed areas by sticking to the abnormal areas. Healthy teeth will not absorb the dye, allowing a dental professional to determine if there is decay on a tooth. Sometimes this process will be done during the filling, allowing the dentist to detect if he has missed any decomposition.
Digital X-Rays: The benefit of digital x-rays is to be able to show decay in the enamel and dentin. Decay can develop in these areas and using the x-rays can determine if there are cavities on the sides of teeth and in the crevices. In addition, x-rays can how decay in the dentin that lies under the enamel, which is virtually impossible to see with the naked eye. With this advanced technology, dental professionals are able to detect small cavities, especially on occlusal (top) surfaces. If a patient has existing fillings or other restorations, the view of the decay may be blocked. Digital x-rays have become an advanced tool and are relatively safe.
Other than decay, fillings may be used to restore cracked or broken teeth. In addition, teeth that have been worn down due to nail-biting, bruxism (grinding), and carelessness may be restored with dental fillings.
The Steps to Fillings:
If needed, a dentist will get a patient numb for the filling procedure. Then, decay will be removed from the tooth. This step involves the dentist using a drill.
The drill, referred to as a handpiece, cuts through the enamel of a tooth to remove the decay. The handpiece uses metal cones; these metal cones are called burs. The dentist will determine the right size of the bur needed. There are also two types of drills: high speed and low speed. Because dentin is softer than enamel, the low-speed drill is used after most of the decay has been removed with the high-speed handpiece.
Different types of fillings require different procedures to shape the space for the filling. This is because the dentist wants to make sure the filling stays in place. A base or liner can be used to protect the tooth’s pulp. The nerves of the tooth are in the pulp. This base can be made of several types of materials including composite, glass, or other material. Some of these materials have a fluoride component which protects the tooth from further decay.
A light is used to harden certain types of fillings. This is also referred to as curing. These special types of fillings makes the surface strong. The last thing the dentist will do is polish the tooth. This polishing is done with a low speed handpiece.
After The Procedure
Patients may feel sensitivity afterward. The sensitivity may occur during consumption of cold and hot foods in addition to pressure or air. Sweet foods also have the tendency to make the tooth sensitive.
The most common reason a tooth may present pain after the procedure is because the dental fillings are too high. An adjustment can be made easily by the dentist and it usually takes a very short amount of time to correct.
In most cases, it only takes a couple of weeks for the sensitivity to decrease. It’s important that a patient avoids anything that causes sensitivity. However, if there is pain after a reasonable amount of healing time, the dentist should be contacted.
It is important to have good communication with the dental team. If a certain type of filling has been used and causes sensitivity, let us know. There are other filling options that may be more suitable for each patient.
Do You Need A Filling? Call The Experts at Off Island Dental
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