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How do fillings work?

A dentist examining a patient's teeth

A filling is a dental procedure used to repair a tooth that has been damaged by decay. The process of getting a filling typically involves the following steps:

  1. Anaesthesia: Your dentist will numb the area around the tooth that needs the filling to minimise any discomfort during the procedure.

  2. Preparation: The next step is to remove the decayed portion of the tooth. This is typically done with a dental drill or another tool.

  3. Filling placement: Once the decayed portion of the tooth has been removed, the dentist will clean the area and then place the filling material into the tooth. There are several different types of filling materials that can be used, including composite resin (a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles) and gold.

  4. Finishing: Once the filling material has been placed, the dentist will shape and smooth it to ensure a comfortable fit and proper bite. The filling will then be allowed to harden, which may take a few minutes or up to a few hours depending on the type of material used.

After the filling is placed, you should be able to eat and drink normally. It's important to continue to brush and floss your teeth regularly to help prevent further decay and keep your mouth healthy. If you experience any discomfort or sensitivity after the filling, be sure to let your dentist know.


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