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Home > Health Library > Dental Fillings (Restorations)
A filling is a material that your dentist uses to fill a cavity after the dentist removes any tooth decay. To fill a tooth, your dentist will numb the area, drill out the decay, and put in a filling. There are many types of fillings.
Fillings can be made from many types of material. Talk to your dentist about which type would be best for you.
After your dentist has filled the cavity, your lips and gums may stay numb for a few hours until the numbing medicine wears off. To avoid injuring your mouth, be careful not to chew on your numb lip or cheek.
Your filled tooth may be sensitive to heat and cold for days to weeks after you get the filling. Talk to your dentist about toothpastes that may help you with this discomfort. Tell your dentist if your teeth are too sensitive after you get a filling. This problem can usually be treated.
You need a filling when tooth decay has caused a hole (cavity) to form on a tooth surface. If you don't get a filling, the cavity will get worse. It may cause pain and then an abscess. This may lead to more severe problems, such as bone loss.
A filling repairs the tooth and stops tooth decay. Over a long period of time, you may need to replace a worn-out filling.
There is almost no risk involved in having a cavity filled.
If you have certain heart problems, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics before a dental procedure. Some procedures can cause bacteria in the mouth to enter the bloodstream and cause infections in other parts of the body. The antibiotics lower your risk of getting an infection in your heart called endocarditis.
Current as of:
June 30, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family MedicineArden Christen DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
Current as of: June 30, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Arden Christen DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
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