If you’ve never had a cavity in your life – congratulations! Great teeth, great oral hygiene and great nutritional choices have gotten you a very long way. If, though, you find yourself experiencing your first cavity of all time, it can make you feel a little nervous!
First Time Nerves
Getting your first filling is nothing to feel scared about. In fact, hundreds of people get fillings in our office each year. Fillings are necessary to treat areas of decayed tooth enamel so that it does not spread or compromise the integrity of the entire tooth. When we catch the cavity early, your filling will be smaller with minimal impact on the rest of your tooth.
You may be worried about discomfort during your filling. Don’t worry! We will thoroughly numb the tooth being worked on so that you do not experience any discomfort or sensitivity. Some fillings may be so small that we do not have to numb the tooth at all. Before injecting any anesthesia, we will place a numbing gel over your tissues that will make the area feel numb before the actual shot. Your comfort is our first priority!
Prepping the Tooth
Tooth colored fillings require less tooth preparation than larger silver fillings. The preparation process involves removing the damaged portion of enamel, as well as a thin layer of tooth surface around it. You may hear some high-pitched noises for a few minutes, so feel free to bring along your headphones if you want to tune it out or distract yourself.
Placing the Filling
Every composite filling is custom matched to the natural shade of your tooth enamel. Teeth come in dozens of shades – and sometimes even multiple shades appear on each tooth! We use a shade guide to determine exactly which color of composite is appropriate.
As the composite material is applied to your tooth, we form it carefully to recreate your original tooth shape. Once shaping is complete, a bright light is applied to the material for several seconds. The light triggers the curing process, hardening the filling in place permanently. Then we will check your bite and make adjustments as needed so that everything feels right when you bite down.
After your filling, you can expect to feel numb for a few hours until the local anesthesia wears off. Be careful not to accidentally chew on your lips or tongue. Avoid eating or drinking hot liquids, as you may not have complete feeling in your mouth or lips.
If your feeling is large, you may experience some minor hypersensitivity to temperature changes. Give it some time, as the nerve of your tooth will need to respond to the changes that were made in the enamel structure. Using a sensitivity toothpaste can help.
Keep your filling small by scheduling check-ups every 6 months at Marconi Dental Group in Sacramento. Even if you’ve not been to the dentist in years, we are here to get your smile back in tiptop shape again!