Fillings are a great way for us to fix teeth!
There are different reasons a tooth might need a filling, for example;
if it has decay
if it has chipped
if the existing filling has new decay underneath and needs to be replaced
if the tooth has had a lot of erosion damage and is missing protective layers of tooth
if the shape of the tooth can be improved
if the colour of the tooth can be improved
This video details start to finish a white (composite) dental filling procedure. It also showcases why dental x-rays (also known as radiographs) are so useful to help discover decay that can't be detected by the eye!
I have been a practicing Dentist in Morley, Perth Western Australia since 2009. With these videos I hope to inform and educate ways to improve your oral health, and explain common dental procedures. Through our YouTube channel (you can find the link here) I hope to take away some of the fear and unknown when it comes to visiting the dentist!
Hi everyone, this is Dr. Carla and this is my lovely patient Erin! We are just about to do a filling for her. We are going to walk you through the process of how we do it.
We're going to numb Erin up and then we're going to show you why her tooth needs to be filled. What we're going to do first is put some numbing cream on Erin's gum, this numbing cream tastes like bubble gum, so lucky Erin! Numbing Erin's tooth means she won't feel any pain during the procedure. She can still feel a bit of pressure, but no pain. It can sting a little bit when it goes in, so we've given Erin a little stress ball.
One of these teeth needs a filling, but it's hard to tell which one it is, isn't it? It's that one! The reason we know this tooth needs a filling is because we can see it on the x-ray. This is why x-rays are so valuable. Fixing a cavity when it's nice and small is better for your tooth, and less expensive to fix than a big hole.
Decay is a softening of the tooth. To fix the tooth we need to remove the soft bits using different shaped drill bits until we get back to nice firm healthy tooth structure.
You can see in the photo on the right the brown decay. Now, we just get out the last bits of decay. Erin’s cavity is between her teeth. If we were just to put the filling in, it would spread out everywhere and she wouldn’t be able to floss properly and food would get stuck. So what we’re doing here is using something called a matrix. It forms a barrier and a nice shape so that when we put the filling material in it’s the exact shape that we want so food will not get stuck between her teeth and she’ll be able to floss nicely.
Once we finish putting the filling material in, the whole matrix comes out. Now you can see me bonding in the white filling material to Erin’s tooth. The filling material is called resin composite. It goes in soft so it can adapt to the exact shape of Erin’s cavity so there’s no gaps anywhere. We use the blue light, which is blue from the white light spectrum to activate the filling material so it sets really nice and hard. You can see we’ve got that orange paddle there, that’s just to protect our eyes because the blue light is very intense.
Once all the filling material is in we take the matrix off, polish it up, check with the floss, and finally check the bite. Erin’s filing is done! Can’t even tell! It gets a gold star!
Okay Erin how did you go with your filling? It was great thanks Carla… well… can we start that again?!
It was surprisingly easy. Didn’t feel anything with the injection and was comfortable the whole way through.
Great! So we’re going to run through your post operative instructions now you’ve had your filling. The first thing is you’re going to be numb for the next couple of hours, you might bite your cheek or your lip while you’re numb. For the next couple of hours if you want to have something to eat make sure it’s nothing you have to chew. Soup, tea, coffee all those things are fine. You can’t feel temperature so nothing too hot. Your gum where you had your injection and the gum between your teeth might be a bit tender, so do some warm salty water mouth rinses if you need them. The tooth itself may also be a bit sensitive to hot or cold for a couple of days because you had a little hole in there and we’ve gone and adjusted the tooth, so the tooth might need a couple of days to settle down. If however the tooth is sore to bite on, come back and let us know as soon as possible because it’s very annoying to your tooth.
Other than that it should be great! Okay thankyou!