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What does getting a tooth filling involve?

Fillings are used to repair a tooth damaged by decay. With direct restorations, the dentist puts the filling material right into the tooth. When you get a filling, the dentist first removes the decayed part of the tooth. Then the dentist cleans the area and fills the cavity. Most of the time, this happens during a single visit.
In most cases, the decay or cavity is drilled out, and a filling is placed back into the tooth to rebuild it. Fillings can be tooth colored (white), silver, porcelain or gold.
A tooth requires a filling, or directly placed restoration, due to decay, wear, fracture, or a combination of these problems.

The decay is removed, and the remaining tooth structure is carefully shaped in an effort to allow for retention of the filling, resistance to fracture and avoidance of decay that may recur in the future.

The filling material of choice is then carefully placed into the tooth to restore form and function. Directly placed filling materials are usually tooth colored composite resin or silver amalgam. As indicated, liners and sealers may be placed on the tooth prior to the filling material in an effort to protect the tooth and minimize sensitivity.

In most cases the patient will be given local anesthesia so that the procedure can be as comfortable as possible.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.