You’re scheduled for a filling and you’ve never had one before. You may be a little anxious about the procedure. What should you expect?
First of all, the dentist will make sure that the tooth is well anesthetized before he or she starts working. You won’t feel any pain during the procedure, but you might notice some pressure. The anesthetic may make your tongue and parts of your face feel numb and can take a few hours to wear off afterward.
If at any point you feel that the anesthesia isn’t strong enough, just raise a hand and let the dentist know. He or she can always place a little more to keep you comfortable.
Preparing the Tooth
Your dentist may seal off your tooth with a rubber dam or prop open your mouth with a bite block to provide a clear working area. You’ll also feel a suction that keeps all saliva out of the way, for a dry surface to work with.
The next step is to remove all decay from the tooth. Special – and small – drills will quickly buff away the cavity and damaged structures while smoothing the tooth so that a filling can be placed.
Placing the Filling
This process varies depending on whether you are getting a metal filling or a composite filling you get, but it doesn’t take long. Your dentist pours in the soft material and shapes it to complete your tooth. Once it sets, you’ll bite down on a piece of paper to check the fit. The dentist will also floss around your tooth to make sure the filling is smooth against each side.
That’s it! If you’re only getting one filling, you should be done in less than a half hour. Ask your dentist any questions you have about your procedure.
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