Getting a tooth filling can be an unpleasant experience, but it is a common dental procedure that most people will need at some point. Fillings help repair teeth that have become damaged by decay and prevent further decay from occurring. While the process of getting a filling might not be fun, knowing what to expect and following some expert tips can help make the experience go much smoother.
Prepare for Your Appointment
The first step is being prepared for your tooth filling appointment. Make sure to follow any pre-appointment instructions from your dentist, such as avoiding eating or drinking for a certain period of time before the procedure. Show up on time for your appointment and be ready to discuss your symptoms and dental history. Bring a list of any medications you are taking, as some may need to be stopped or adjusted prior to a filling.
Understand the Process
Knowing what to expect during the visit can help ease anxiety. The dentist will first examine the tooth and use dental instruments to remove any decay. This is often the most uncomfortable part of the process. They will then clean and shape the area, using a drill to create space for the filling. A local anaesthetic is often applied to numb the area before the drilling begins. Once the prep work is done, the dentist will choose a filling material and fill the cleaned-out hole. The filling may consist of a metal amalgam, composite resin, porcelain, or gold material. The dentist will shape and smooth out the filling to match the natural tooth. The procedure is then complete.
Communicate with Your Dentist
Do not be afraid to speak up during the visit. Tell the dentist if you are uncomfortable or need a break. Raise your hand if you need them to stop momentarily. Also, ask any questions you have about the process or your specific case. Understanding the procedure and having an open dialogue helps create a more relaxed visit. Discuss options for anaesthesia if you are worried about discomfort.
Practice Good Oral Care
Proper oral hygiene is important both before and after getting a filling. Brush twice a day and floss thoroughly to keep the area clean and prevent further tooth decay. Use fluoridated toothpaste to strengthen enamel. Avoid sticky, sugary foods that could get trapped in the filled area. Stay on top of regular dental cleanings and exams to keep your mouth healthy. Let the dentist know if you have any sensitivity or pain in the area following the procedure.
Consider Your Filling Options
There are advantages and disadvantages to different filling materials. Amalgam fillings are strong, durable, and inexpensive but require removing more of the natural tooth. Composite resin fillings match the colour of your natural teeth but may not last as long. Porcelain has a natural appearance but is often more expensive. Discuss the options with your dentist to determine the right choice for your specific case and budget. Getting a material that looks natural is often about personal preference.
Know What to Expect Afterward
It is common to experience some sensitivity and discomfort in the hours or days after getting a filling as the anaesthetic wears off. The area may be sensitive to hot or cold. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage any pain. Generally, sensitivity resolves within a few weeks as the tooth adjusts to the filling. Avoid chewing hard foods on the side with the new filling at first. Be gentle brushing as well until the sensitivity subsides. Any pain that increases or lasts longer than a few weeks warrants a call to the dentist to check the bite or look for signs of infection.
Getting a dental filling does not have to be a dreaded experience. Going in with an understanding of the process, communicating with your dentist, and taking good care of your teeth afterward makes the process faster and more comfortable. Following these expert tips can help you smoothly get the fillings you need.
Visit us at Bayswater Dentist if you need a filling. Our experienced dentists will walk you through every step of the process and listen to your concerns. We offer both metal amalgam and natural-looking composite fillings to match your preferences. Our dental office prides itself on making patients feel comfortable and relaxed. We use modern dental technology and techniques for quick and painless fillings. Our skilled dentists and friendly staff will give you the information you need to make informed decisions about your dental work.