At the office of G.R. Sheumaker Jr., DDS, we understand that many people feel anxious about dental appointments, especially when they are coming in for something more than just a simple check-up and cleaning. We do everything we can to alleviate this anxiety when patients come into the office, but we also want to help more people fight these worries before they even come in. To do this, we have put together this brief guide on what to expect when you are getting tooth fillings. We hope this information helps you mentally prepare for your next appointment.
- Desensitizing Your Mouth- The first thing that your dentist will do when you come in to get tooth fillings is desensitize your mouth. Dr. Sheumaker will apply a topical numbing gel to your teeth and gums to lessen any pain you might feel, and once that gel takes effect, he will give you a shot of novocaine to thoroughly anesthetize the area. As part of this process, you may also receive nitrous oxide, a.k.a. laughing gas, to help relax you.
- Removing Decay- Once the anesthesia takes effect, the next step is to remove the decayed part of the tooth. The dentist will use a drill, laser, or air abrasion tool to remove all traces of decay so that none is left to infect the rest of the tooth. This may sound scary, but remember that the anesthetics you receive will eliminate any pain you may feel–if you do feel pain at any point, you can alert our team members and they will apply more numbing agents.
- Filling the Cavity- The last step in the process is to apply the actual tooth fillings. Your dentist will fill up the space left behind with a tooth-colored resin or ceramic material, or a metal amalgam. Once the filling is in place, the dentist will sand it down to remove any rough edges and ensure that it conforms to the shape of the surrounding tooth.