Cavities: What is our Process?
To treat a cavity we remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fill” the area on the tooth where the decayed material once lived.
Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (such as from nail-biting or tooth grinding).
What Steps Are Involved in Filling a Tooth?
- First, we numb the area around the tooth to be worked on with a local anesthetic.
- Next, we remove the decay and test the area where the decay was living to determine if all decay has been removed.
- We then prepare the space for the filling by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris.
- If the decay was near the root we may first put in a liner made of glass ionomer, composite resin or other material to protect the nerve.
- Because we only use composite filings in our office, we go through a layering process with the composite material.
- The composite is applied in layers and cured with a light in between each layer.
- Once we have finished the layering process, we shape the composite material to the desired result and polish the final restoration.
Unlike inlays and onlays that are crafted in an outside lab, composite fillings can be made on-site and completed in only one office visit. It is conceivable that a dental filling, as an alternative, could be used as a means to restore a tooth’s shape.
“A smile is the chosen vehicle of all ambiguities.” – Herman Melville