It’s unlikely that you pay any mind to the actual process of getting a filling. After all, it’s a rather routine process, especially if you have had a few cavities in your day. If you get a cavity, the way you see it is probably something like this: you have a cavity, so you go into your dentist; he does his thing, and you leave with a healthy mouth and a new filling.
We get it; it’s not exactly your job to know what’s going on, but we want to make sure that you have at least an idea of what goes into the process of receiving a filling.
The first step is to numb the area that the dentist will be working on. A numbing topical gel would be applied to ease the pain of the injection. This allows the dentist to perform the rest of the procedure with zero pain to you.
Once the area is completely numb, the dentist will use a high-speed drill to remove the cavity and any decay in the area. Unsupported dental enamel is also removed. The dentist uses a slower drill when they reach the softer layer of dentin.
The tooth is then prepared by removing a small amount of natural tooth. This is done to prepare a place for the filling. In the case of tooth-colored fillings, a very minimal amount of natural tooth enamel must be removed in order to form a strong bond.
An acid gel will then be used to finish the preparation process. Then the filling is placed to fill the hole left by the cavity and decay. This seals off the hole from any harmful bacteria.
If you have had a filling before, you know your dentist has you bite down on a small piece of paper. This is to help them to see that your bite is proper and healthy.