Cavities are the bane of tooth existence, and in order to remedy the issue, the decayed segment of the tooth must be extracted and filled with new material. Fillings are also used to repair broken, cracked or worn down (from tooth grinding, for example) teeth.
- A local anaesthetic is used to numb the area around the tooth with the cavity.
- A drill, air abrasion instrument or laser is used to remove the decayed area.
- Your dentist prepares the area for a filling by clearing the area of bacteria.
- If the cavity is near the root, your dentist will protect the nerve by placing a liner made of composite resin or other material over it.
- After your filling is in, your dentist will finish and polish the tooth.
Types of Tooth Fillings
Today, the most common type of filling is a tooth-coloured filling and it is applied in layers. A special light hardens or “cures” each layer before the next is applied. When the layering is complete, your dentist will shape the composite material, trim off any excessive material, and then polish the tooth.
Other types of tooth fillings include gold, silver amalgam, porcelain, plastic, glass ionomer, and composite resin.