Fillings do just what the name implies — seal a small hole in your tooth, i.e., a cavity, caused by decay and is the least expensive initially. This prevents the decay (a bacteria-induced infection) from spreading further into your tooth and entering the sensitive inner root canal — a condition that requires root canal treatment.
To fill a tooth, we first clinically examine it and review x-rays to determine the extent of the decay. Then we remove the decayed area of the tooth, usually with a dental drill or another handheld instrument. Your tooth will be anesthetized first, so you won’t feel anything. If numbing injections normally provoke anxiety for you, please let us know; we can discuss medication that can help with this. If you feel more comfortable, we can discuss more sedation options to help with anxiety.
Fillings can be divided into two broad categories: metal and tooth-colored.