A filling is required when your dentist finds that you have a cavity in your mouth. Children, as well as adults, can require fillings which can easily be found during cleaning visits. If you have never had a cavity filled before, you may be a little nervous about the process. Here are four things you need to know about getting a filling to put your mind at ease.
First of all, you may never know you have a cavity until the dentist finds it. Go to the dentist two times a year to have your teeth cleaned and examined. This way, a cavity can be found during the early stages and you will also be preventing any future cavities from forming. If a cavity is found, your dentist will have you set an appointment to have the cavity filled.
Schedule and Prepare for the Appointment
Once a cavity has been found, an appointment needs to be scheduled and you must prepare for the visit. Depending on the severity of the cavity, the filling may take some time or additional treatment needed. You will need to ask how long the appointment should last and if you will need a ride home. Side effects from medicine used should be determined as well as what preparations you may need to do at home before arriving at your appointment.
Have a friend or family member ready to assist you with your appointment. Have foods on hand that you can eat afterwards to not have to worry about shopping for groceries for a few days after your filling. Take time off from work as needed so you can recover. Any job that requires public speaking will most likely require a day off.
Decide What Filling You Will Get
In most cases, you have the option to get an amalgam filling or composite filling. Each kind has pros and cons that must be considered. You will need to discuss each type with your dentist and decide which fits your budget as well as filling needs.
An amalgam filling is one that consists of metals and is silver in color. This is the less expensive option and provides a strong and flexible filling material. Healthy tooth material may need to be removed for this type of filling to work. This option is usually used in children who will eventually lose the tooth that has a cavity or in the back teeth where it will not be seen.
A composite filling is one that is created with hardened resin and is usually the color of the tooth. This is more expensive but commonly used when the tooth is visible for an aesthetic appearance. This option is not as strong as an amalgam filling.
After Filling Care
Once the treatment has been provided, you will need to know what to do in the coming days. You may feel numb or tingly in your mouth after the filling or tender. Talking, eating and swallowing may be hard to do within the first few hours after the filling has been completed. Be careful when you chew or talk after the treatment so that you do not accidentally bite your tongue or cheek. If you experience pain or discomfort days after the filling, contact your dentist.
To schedule an appointment for a filling or to find out more about the process, contact our office today at (602) 482-5100.