Dental fillings are used to treat cavities, which are permanently damaged areas in the teeth that develop as small holes. Cavities often form from bacteria, excess sugar consumption, and poor oral hygiene. In addition to poor dental hygiene, acid reflux, frequent snacking, and smoking can also contribute to the formation of plaque, tartar, and cavities.
Some signs that you may need a filling include:
- Tooth sensitivity while consuming hot or cold foods or drinks
- A visible black hole in your tooth
- A general toothache
- Difficulty when flossing due to the thread shredding or becoming stuck in between your teeth
Routine dental examinations with Dr Chalita le Roux can detect a cavity in its earliest stages so that more timely treatment can be applied. This can prevent serious and irreversible damage to the tooth from occurring.
How is a dental filling performed?
To determine the extent of the damage caused by the cavity, Dr Chalita le Roux will use a small mirror to perform an oral examination, looking at the surface of the tooth. Anything that does not look normal will then be closely evaluated with special instruments. X-rays of the entire mouth or section thereof may also be taken.
The first step in the dental filling procedure is to administer a local anaesthetic so that the area around the affected tooth becomes numb, increasing the comfort of the patient throughout the procedure.
Next, the decayed or damaged tooth and its surrounding areas should be prepared for restoration. Dr Chalita le Roux will then use specialised dental tools to remove the damaged parts of the tooth. An acid gel is used to cleanse the area to remove any remaining bacteria.
The filling material is then applied to the area to fill the cavity. Dr Chalita le Roux will discuss which filling option suits your needs. We prefer to use composite or porcelain fillings for functional, health, and aesthetic reasons.
Finally, the finished tooth can be polished to conclude the dental filling procedure.