The Filling Procedure: What to Expect
Cavities are relatively easy for dentists to fix. First, dentists use a local anesthetic, such as lidocaine, to numb the part of the mouth they'll be treating. This anesthetic is injected into the gum tissue, which can cause a temporary stinging sensation. Once the area is fully numb, the dentist proceeds with the treatment.
Next, the dentist will remove decay from the tooth with a dental drill or laser. After the decay has been removed, the space needs to be prepared for a filling. The dentist will shape the area and, depending on the type of filling being used, may etch the tooth with an acid gel.
Once the tooth has been prepared, the dentist can apply the filling material. Some filling materials need to be hardened with a special light. If you're receiving this type of filling, your dentist will shine a bright light on your filling several times during the procedure.
Finally, the dentist will polish the filling. This process smooths the filling and removes any sharp edges that could injure your tongue or the lining of your cheeks.