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What Are the Steps Involved in Filling a Cavity?

Are you concerned that you may have a cavity? If so, you need to reach out to the dentist as quickly as possible. The sooner you reach out to a dentist, the faster the cavity can be filled, and this can significantly limit possible damage to the tooth.

At Megan Mobley, DDS we can assist you with getting your cavities filled. Take a look at some of the signs of a cavity below, then learn more about the steps invovled in filling a cavity. Contact us today to make an appointment.

The Signs of a Cavity

There are several signs that could indicate that you may have one or more cavities in your mouth. They include:

Visible Holes in Your Teeth

If you noticed that you have visible holes in your teeth, it is important for you to contact your dentist as quickly as possible. A cavity develops when your enamel starts to decay, usually because bacteria have infiltrated your enamel.

When bacteria digest food, they release acid that causes holes to develop in your teeth. If you see holes in your teeth, you need to call your dentist. We can help you fill your cavities.

Stains on Your Tooth Surface

If you have stains on the surface of your tooth, it could indicate that a cavity is present. For example, you may notice brown, black, or white stains on the surface of your tooth.

Stains are not always a sign of a cavity, but it is something that has to be addressed as quickly as possible. We would be happy to take a look at your teeth and see if there are cavities present.

Pain While Eating

Finally, if you have pain while eating, it could be a sign of a cavity. When there are bacteria that have infiltrated your teeth, they could cause irritation of the nerve root. Bacterial can degrade the enamel, causing more pressure to be applied to the nerve when you bite down.

If you have pain when you bite down, you might have a cavity present. If you have a cavity, how is it filled? There are a few steps involved.

1. Apply Numbing Gel to the Gums

Depending on the location of the cavity, the dentist may decide to apply some numbing gel to the gums. The sensation you feel from your tooth comes from a nerve that is underneath the surface of the enamel. It is important to numb the nerve before the procedure begins to limit possible discomfort.

In general, the gel is short-acting. It should last for the duration of the procedure, but it should wear off a few hours later. After the procedure is done, you may need to be careful about the types of foods you eat until you get sensation back along the gumline. If you would like to learn more about different numbing options we have available, we would be happy to talk about them with you. Our goal is to minimize discomfort during the procedure.

2. Remove the Decayed Material From the Tooth

After the tooth has been named, the next step is to remove the decayed material. A cavity takes place when you have bacteria that infiltrate the enamel. These bacteria cause damage to the enamel, causing it to decay. As bacteria digest food that has been left behind, they release acid, which causes your tooth to decay. 

If all of the bacteria are not removed from the location of the cavity, the bacteria will continue to spread, and the decay will return. The dentist will use a specialized tool to remove all of the decayed material from the tooth itself. The dentist will also monitor your comfort level during the procedure to make sure you are as comfortable as possible. 

3. Fill the Hole in the Tooth

Once the dentist is certain that all decayed material has been removed, the next step is to fill the hole. There are multiple options available for filling a cavity, but the dentist will think about both functionality and aesthetic appeal. The goal is to make sure that the cavity is completely filled, but the dentist will also work with you to match the color of the filling to the color of the tooth. 

That way, it will be very difficult to see the filling with the naked eye. Prior to the procedure, the dentist will work with you to review the options. You will go to the benefits and drawbacks of each choice before you decide what type of material you want to use to fill the cavity.

4. Polish and Adjust the Filling

Once the dentist has completely filled the hole, the next step is to polish and adjust the filling. The dentist will make sure the filling is in place, minimizing the chances of it falling out. The dentist will also polish the filling, making sure it is as smooth as possible. 

The dentist may also ask you to bite down on the filling to make sure your bite feels natural. If something feels off, the dentist will try to adjust the filling to rectify the situation. The dentist may also have to cure the feeling to make sure it is entirely solid before the procedure is over. Once the filling has been polished, you should be good to go. 

Call Dr. Mobley To Make an Appointment Today

This is just a general overview of what happens when you have a cavity that has to get filled. The exact steps might vary depending on the size, location, and scope of the cavity. The goal is to completely remove all bacteria from the tooth to limit future damage. 

At Megan Mobley, DDS, we have an unparalleled level of experience dealing with cavities in a wide variety of locations. If you are looking for a team that can help you fill your cavity, we can help you. Then, we can help you prevent cavities from ever coming back. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our team. 

Contact Us Today

To find out more about our dental services, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Megan Mobley, contact our West Lake Hills, TX office today. 

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