Dental issues are never pleasant for anyone and learning you have a cavity is even less fun. For so many people, they fear going to the dentist due to the potential discomfort of having to undergo a procedure they do not wish to be a part of. However, having a cavity filled is often not painful and can prevent dental issues down the road that can create other health issues in your mouth and throughout your body. Below, we’ll detail what a cavity is and what to expect when having a cavity filled.
What is a cavity?
Tooth cavities are a common dental condition where holes of varying sizes appear due to a variety of issues including bacteria in the mouth, lack of sufficient cleaning, use of sugar drinks or food that erode enamel. They can often start as small holes and become bigger as time goes on without treatment by your dentist. Regular checkups are crucial given that some cavities have no symptoms at all, including mild pain.
What is the process for having a cavity filled and what should I expect?
When filling a cavity, most if not all dentists will follow a standard procedure. First, they will desensitize the area where the cavity is located or, if the dentist believes it is more beneficial to do so, he or she will desensitize your entire mouth. This is accomplished by rubbing a substance that feels similar to jelly on your teeth and gums and can be followed up by an injection of anesthetic to help ensure you don’t feel pain. In some very rare cases, a dentist may use nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, to desensitize you when you’re having your cavity filled.
Following that, a rubber dam may be placed around your teeth which helps prevent parts of your tooth or liquids from moving into other parts of your mouth. Then, the dentist will begin to tackle removing elements of decay with a variety of tools while your mouth is anesthetized so you do not feel any pain. Following that, the dentist will begin to fill your cavity to prevent bacteria from re-entering the hole in your tooth and for cosmetic reasons as well. After that, the dentist may perform some work to file down your tooth and its filling, so your chewing is not interfered with.
What happens after my cavity is filled by my dentist?
Usually, you will still be numb for a few hours following the procedure as the anesthetic wears off. It is often advisable to avoid eating hard meals or the drinking very hot or very cold drinks in the hours after your cavity is filled. Most people have no continuing side effects.
What do I do if I have more questions about what to expect when having a cavity filled?
Call the Newbury Dental office for a consultation, so we can answer all of your questions regarding what to expect when having a cavity filled.