Teeth Restoration- Tooth Filling and Cavities
A tooth filling is the dental procedure performed to restore a tooth that has been damaged by some kind of decay / disease (cavities), back to its expected functionality and condition.
A tooth filling procedure consists of 3 general steps:
- removal of the decayed tooth material;
- cleanup of the affected area; and
- filling the cleaned out cavity with the proper filling material.
Addressing cavities by performing a tooth filling procedure is important from many different perspectives. A key reason for a tooth filling is to ensure that the bacteria (which are common in the mouth) cannot enter inside the teeth through the small spaces created by the decay of the teeth. Keeping the tooth and surrounding environment (gums and even bone of the jaw) free of hidden bacteria will not only avoid the pain created by a cavity, but will prevent further infections that can become very severe if not properly and timely treated.
The filling materials used to fill the space left out by the cavity vary depending on the extent of the repair, allergies, the location of the cavity, the type of teeth, the age of the child, and the cost tradeoffs. Also important to consider is the depth of the damage to the tooth due to decay or even fracture. If it is large, a crown or “cap” may be required around the tooth. If the decay has reached the nerve, the removal of the damaged nerve may be required (see root canal therapy) if attempts to keep the nerve alive via “pulp capping” are not possible.
A tooth cavity is detected during the dental exam with one of our dentists (first or recall appointment). On the day of the tooth filling appointment, a light breakfast or lunch is suggested. During the filling appointment, Nitrous Oxide (“laughing gas”) will be used, and the affected tooth will be numbed to remove the cavity.
As mentioned above, filling (using composites) is used to fill a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, and malformations. In just one appointment, the decay or affected portion of the teeth will be removed, cleaned, and filled. Please contact one of our Allen Pediatric Dentist if you have any questions regarding the tooth filling procedure.