When you have a cavity, you need a restorative dental procedure to return the tooth to whole. The solution is a dental filling, which involves removing the decayed portion of the tooth and replacing it with an amalgam that fills the space and hardens to become just like a new tooth.
We perform tooth fillings at our dental office in Vancouver, Washington. Our dentist, Dr. Erika, has the experience with this standard procedure. She can restore your tooth to its original structure and preserve its integrity.
Getting a filling can save you money in the long term by treating the problem before it worsens. Without a filling, a cavity can continue to grow and may require more serious action, such as a root canal or tooth extraction.
TYPES OF FILLINGS OFFERED
You may want a filling that blends in with the rest of your teeth, or perhaps you prefer one with a bit more flair. We can provide you with gold, silver or white tooth fillings in our Vancouver office, depending on your preference. All three types offer the durability and strength you desire.
Many patients prefer white fillings because you can’t tell you’ve had a cavity. We match the filling to your natural tooth color. Gold fillings are known for their durability, and they fit your tooth like a glove without having to file down surrounding teeth. Silver fillings have been used the longest, and they also offer exceptional strength. Most fillings last between five and 15 years, and we monitor their condition when you come to our office for dental exams.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR PROCEDURE
Getting a filling can take an hour or less, depending on the complexity of your cavity. The procedure generally goes like this:
- We numb the area that has the cavity using a shot of local anesthetic. We wait until you can’t feel anything to get the procedure underway.
- Dr. Erika uses a dental drill to open the infected area of the tooth. She removes decay surrounding the cavity and carefully controls the debris from the drilling to maintain your comfort.
- We prepare the filling material to be placed in your mouth. If the filling is white, we will find a color of your preference.
- Dr. Erika carefully spreads the amalgam or composite in layers on the tooth where the cavity is. She does this slowly, working until the entire area is filled.
- With the cavity packed, Dr. Erika shapes the restored tooth to look like the other teeth in your mouth.
- If you have a gold filling, it will take two appointments. The first one includes preparing your tooth, taking an impression for our lab, and placing a temporary filling. The second visit includes removing the temporary and cementing the final gold filling.
It takes a few hours for the anesthetic to wear off. Afterward, you may feel a bit of tenderness in your mouth, but you shouldn’t feel any pain. Your tooth may remain sensitive to very hot or cold foods for a couple of days.
CALL LIGHTHOUSE DENTAL TODAY
Dr. Erika encourages a laid-back atmosphere and focuses on offering pain-free service. We know many patients get scared about going to the dentist, so we approach each interaction with you with compassion and understanding. If you need dental fillings near Vancouver, Washington, contact our office today to set up an appointment by calling (360) 576-3570.