The process begins with a consultation in our office. Dr. Ramos will examine your teeth for tooth decay and gum disease and take x-rays to get a closer look at the condition of your tooth. If damage to the dental pulp is revealed, you may need a root canal.
We will administer a local anesthetic to numb your mouth and use a dental drill to remove any remaining tooth decay. Then, the tooth is cleaned and dried before layering the composite resin onto the tooth. We will cure the composite resin with a UV light after each layer, which will instantly harden it. After performing any necessary additional shaping, we will polish the tooth.
This ultimately depends on the type of filling you get, where it’s located, and your lifestyle. Composite resin fillings have a lifespan of 5-7 years and with proper care, they can last for 10 years. Fillings placed in the rear molars are likely to wear down sooner than fillings placed in the front teeth because of the force of chewing.
To care for your fillings, you should brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly. Wear a mouthguard if you grind your teeth at night because this can wear down your fillings. Avoid hard and sticky foods which can break or dislodge the fillings. Take care of your teeth by avoiding chewing on objects or using them to open packages.
Failure to fill a cavity will result in worsening decay. Once the decay penetrates the dental pulp, which is the soft inside layer of your tooth that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue, you will need a root canal or extraction.
A tooth infection will result in swelling, an abscess, discoloration, sensitivity, and severe pain. If you have irreversible pulpitis because you left it untreated for too long, the tooth will need to be extracted and replaced.