Dental fillings are required when there are cavities (holes) due to decay of teeth structure. It is the use of an artificial filling material to restore the function and appearance of tooth structure. There are various materials such as amalgam, glass ionomer cement and composite resins. Different materials have different properties and lifespan. Some other factors affecting the lifespan of a dental filling include where and how the filling is placed, the chewing load that the tooth have to bear and your oral hygiene.

What happens during a dental filling procedure?

The dentist will first clean up the decayed tooth structure using a high-speed handpiece, commonly known as the “drill”. After most of the decayed structure is being removed, the dentist will switch to a slow-speed handpiece to remove any remaining portions of the decayed tooth. As this handpiece drills slower than the high-speed handpiece, you may feel a vibrating sensation in your tooth. Once the cavity is cleaned up, your dentist will then place in the filling material.

After the filling is done, you will be asked to bite on a carbon paper to check if the filling is too thick. After all the trimming and polishing is done, the tooth will be just like the way it was.

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