If you just found out that you have a cavity, you may be wondering how we plan to treat the issue. Fortunately, through routine cleanings every six months, we are more likely to detect these issues when they are only a slight inconvenience rather than a serious problem. Having a cavity is no fun, but a dental filling can restore the tooth after decay has been removed.
A dental filling uses special material to fill the spaces where decay has been removed to restore the tooth to its nature appearance and strength. While the tooth-colored resin used for a dental filling may also be used for purely cosmetic reasons such as hiding a small discoloration, chip, or gap between your teeth, in most cases a dental filling is used to treat a cavity.
As you may already know, a dental filling can be made from different materials. For purely aesthetic reasons, most patients opt for tooth-colored fillings made from composite resin. If a tooth-colored filling is chosen, the shade of the resin is used to match the tooth so that the dental filling isn’t visible. Of course, metal fillings are still used today because they are more resilient than even tooth-colored fillings and can be a better option for molars and back teeth, which take on more force and pressure from the jaws when chewing and speaking.
If you are getting a composite resin filling, the moldable resin is applied in layers. Each layer will then be hardened immediately using a special dental light. Your dentist will continue to apply layer after layer until the tooth is completely filled. Once the last layer is hardened, your dentist may still need to trim the filling before giving it a final polish.