Dental fillings are artificial substances that are used to fill in the holes or gaps in the enamel of decayed, broken or damaged teeth. Dental fillings are needed to restore the shape and stability of the tooth.

How it works:

First the dentist will numb the decayed tooth or teeth to be treated using a local anesthetic that is injected into the area. The anesthetic also numbs your gums and jaw around the teeth. once the dentist confirms you’re numb, they use a dental drill to remove the decay.

After the decay is removed and the tooth is ready, they place the filling. The specific method used to insert the filling depends on the type of filling you’re getting.

Why they’re important:

When tooth decay destroys part of a tooth, the resulting cavity is often sensitive. It could expose inner nerves, compromise the tooth’s structural integrity, or become a site of continued infection. Fillings prevent bacteria or plaque from building up inside cavities, which could lead to serious infections. They also reinforce the tooth, to keep it from chipping, cracking, or breaking inward from trauma. Without a filling, even minor cavities could seriously compromise the health and function of your teeth.