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As you probably know, the main reason why your dentist should advise you to get a filling is the presence of caries on a tooth. The dentist, before making his diagnose, will attentively observe your teeth looking for dark spots which usually indicate caries. Sometimes he will also use a metal instrument to press on the spots he sees since caries presents a softer surface in comparison to healthy teeth enamel capping a tooth. Other methods of discovering caries include the use of dyes which stick to caries but get washed out if the teeth are healthy; x-rays which are useful in discovering caries hidden in between your teeth; and special lasers which point towards changes caused by the presence of caries on your teeth. However, keep in mind that caries may not be the only reason for you to get a filling. Other cases include chipped or broken teeth, worn out teeth in consequence of bruxism, biting your nails or munching on things (like a pen for example).

So what does the procedure of applying a filling look like?

Firstly, you may have the affected area anesthetized to prevent any pain during the procedure. The next step involves removing the caries from your tooth by using specific dental instruments. In case you do not have caries but you need a filling for other reasons, the dentist will proceed directly to shape the tooth and prepare it for a filling.

There are different types of materials that can be employed as a filling, depending on each and every case. In any case, no matter what material is used, the important thing is to make sure the filling stays in place and protects the tooth in time. Once the filling is applied to a tooth, your dentist will polish it to make the surface smooth and natural-looking. [Dental filliings on teeth]

Sometimes you may feel discomfort, tooth sensitivity or pain after having had a filling. In most cases that is normal for a limited period of time, but if these symptoms persist, you should contact your dentist right away just to make sure the filling is not too high or causes discomfort because it wasn't polished to perfection.

Keep also in mind that fillings do not last forever; you will have to undergo regular checks and eventually you may need to replace a filling worn out by chewing or because caries has formed yet again under an old and cracked filling. When replacing an old filling, the dentist may use another material to reflect the current state of health of the tooth.

Remember that fillings are the most common procedure to protect teeth which have been attacked by caries; however, prevention is always better than running for a dental treatment. To prevent caries in the first place, take care of your dental health everyday by using toothbrushes, dental floss and mouthwash.