What is a Tooth Filling?
A tooth filling is where material (such as porcelain inlay/onlay or composite) is inserted into a damaged or decayed tooth to restore its original shape and function. This can be either a dental inlay (fills centre of tooth) or onlay (more extensive than an inlay and can cover up to the entire biting surface of a tooth).
Fillings are most commonly used to prevent further damage to a tooth when decay is present. By removing the bacteria and closing the affected area off, no further tooth decay can occur.
The process of getting a tooth filling
Once your dentist has assessed your case and determined a tooth filling is the best solution, you will be booked in for your next treatment. In general, a filling treatment can last anywhere roughly between 30 minutes to an hour to complete all the necessary dental work.
Most dentists will prepare the area with numbing spray/gel before local anaesthetic is used. This creates a more comfortable experience for patients by lessening the feeling of the local anaesthetic needle.
Once the area is completely numb, the dentist will remove any decay with a drill and seal the area with a filling. To maintain proper bite function, the dentist will check with the patient to ensure that their bite feels normal. If necessary, part of the filling will be filed down to restore the natural bite.