What to expect?..
Your heart starts racing, the walls close in, and your palms begin to sweat. Four words you never wanted to hear..
"You have a cavity.."
Ok, so maybe it's not that dramatic, but you really do have nothing to fear!
The procedure to fill a cavity is no challenge for the team at Sandro Frangella, DDS. With the exception of a tiny pinch (if that) when Dr. Frangella administers the numbing medication, the entire procedure is quick and painless, albeit there may be some strange noises.
All in all, you'll leave the office with a better appreciation for your Oral Health, and the satisfaction of knowing the damage has been repaired and your tooth is restored to its former glory!
Step 1. Getting Numb
Dr. Frangella will prepare for the procedure by getting the tooth and it's surrounding tissue numb. First a topical analgestic is rubbed above the tooth in question, numbing the surface of the gum. Using a dental syringe, Dr. Frangella will gently administer a local anesthetic effectively numbing the tooth and the surrounding area. This is the only time you may feel a pinch. If you feel pain during the rest of the procedure please let Dr. Frangella know!
The local anesthetic will take a few minutes to work it's magic, its important that you are careful not to bite your tongue or cheek once it's kicked in. To prevent accidental injury, you should avoid eating or drinking hot beverages until the medication has worn off (1 to 3 hours after the procedure).
Step 2: Removing Decay
The first step in filling a cavity is removing the decay that is already in your tooth. Dr. Frangella will use a high speed drill to remove the decay and expose the healthy dentin of your tooth. You may feel an occasional spray between drilling. Dr. Frangella will use a special dye to help distinguish healthy dentin from decay.
This step should not hurt! If you feel pain let Dr. Frangella or his assistant know immediately. More medication can be used to further numb the tooth.
When all the decay has been removed, the tooth is cleaned and dried. It's now ready to be filled!
Step 3: The Filling
Once cleaned and dried, the tooth is now ready to receive it's filling. There are several different types of fillings, and which one you will receive depends on a few variables; The size of the cavity, the specific tooth that was worked on, and patient preference all play a role in deciding which filling to proceed with.
For example; a deep cavity may be filled with a temporary medicated filling to help calm the nerve and avoid irreversible pulpitis, an inflammation of the tooth pulp and it's vessels.
Once the filling is placed and cured, Dr. Frangella will have you bite down on a small piece of paper. This is an Occlusion paper, which helps Dr. Frangella determine if the filling is interfering with your natural bite. If it is, he will make adjustments using his drill until the bite is as comfortable as it was before your appointment. Once all the adjustments have been made you'll rinse to remove any bits of filling material, and you're all set.
You did it! Remember not to eat or drink hot liquids until the local anesthetic has fully worn off. Sensitivity to temperature, air, sweets, and pressure are normal immediately following a filling. If you experience severe pain or pain that persists for longer than a week, please let the office know.