To treat a cavity your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fill” the area on the tooth where the decayed material once lived. Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (such as from nail biting or tooth grinding).
What steps are involved in filling in a tooth?
First, the dentist will numb the area around the tooth to be filled with a local anaesthetic. Next, a drill will be used to remove the decayed area. Next, your dentist will probe or test the area during the decay removal process to determine if all the decay has been removed. Once the decay has been removed, your dentist will prepare the space for the filling by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris. Generally, after the filling is in, your dentist will finish and polish it.
What are indirect fillings?
Indirect fillings are similar to composite or tooth coloured fillings except that they are made in a dental laboratory and require two visits before being placed. Indirect fillings are considered when not enough tooth structure remains to support a filling but the tooth is not so severely damaged that it needs a crown.During the first visit, decay or an old filling is removed. An impression is taken to record the shape of the tooth being repaired and the teeth around it. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory that will make the indirect filling. A temporary filling (described below) is placed to protect the tooth while your restoration is being made. During the second visit, the temporary filling is removed, and the dentist will check the fit of the indirect restoration. Provided the fit is acceptable, it will be permanently cemented into place.There are two types of indirect fillings – inlays and onlays.