What Happens to Your Teeth When They Get Filled?

Date ,   Published by dental.net

Adults appear tough to children on the outside, but inside every grown up is a child that still fears a lot of the things that it feared in childhood. And among the most famous fears is the fear of a dentist. The fear is mostly due to curiousness of what the dentist actually does. So here we give you an insight into what actually happens when a dentist does a filling in your tooth. You’ll be in the chair the whole time, with your mouth open.


The first thing that a dentist needs to do is to locate the tooth that needs to be treated. Once the tooth is located, the dentist will make adjustments to make sure that he can easily access the tooth and that the neighboring teeth won’t be damaged in the process.

For children, the dentist places a plastic object between the jaws to keep their mouth open. Although this isn’t the usual case with adults (as the dentist expects you won’t bite on his fingers) but it is an option for those who find it difficult to keep their mouth open for 15 to 20 minutes.

If the cavity to be treated is in between two teeth, the affected tooth is isolated using a metal wedge. The wedge is placed between adjacent teeth so they are safe from damage. A dental dam is also placed to prevent tooth fragments from entering the throat.

The dentist will also insert a small hose that will suck your saliva to keep the mouth clean.
Once this is set, the dentist will rub sum anesthetic ointment on your gums. This makes the Novocain shot less painful. Novocain is a local anesthetic that is used to reduce pain during dental procedures. Although the long needle looks threatening, it doesn’t hurt at all most of the time.

When the Novocain has taken effect, the dentist will start removing the cavity using a small drill. The drill noise is the main reason why people flinch when thinking of dental procedures. The drilling gives off a soft burning smell and a grinding sound. The depth of the drilling depends on how deep the cavity is.

After the bad parts are removed, the dentist will make a filling paste. Using a thin needle like instrument as a spatula, he will fill the drilled region with the paste. When he is satisfied with the filling, he’ll use a UV light source (shaped like a small torch at the end of a tube) to harden the filling.

Using another drill, the dentist will shape the filling so it replicates the shape of your tooth. This process does take a bit of time as the dentist needs to be sure. Uneven filling can be very irritating and requires another dental appointment to correct. During the shaping process the dentist will make you bite on a piece of ink-paper and will observe the tooth mark for reference.

Once he is satisfied, he’ll take a few minutes to clean, buff and shine the tooth to finish the job. The apparatus will be removed from your mouth and you will be free to go.

The Novocain will then take a few hours to wear off. As the effect fades away, there are tingling sensations and a general feeling of a heavy jaw. It isn’t much and will soon wear off.

Published in: Dental Treatments and Surgery (See More Articles)