When you go to the dentist for your regular checkup, you may discover that you have cavities. If you have never had a cavity before, it is easy for your mind to begin to race, as you wonder how you will be able to afford getting a filling, whether it will hurt or not and how time-consuming the process will be. The good news is that fillings are very common in the world of dentistry, and are often very affordable. The even better news is that it is possible to find a dentist with no insurance; many dental offices even offer low-interest payment plans.
How are Cavities Formed?
Cavities are formed by a layer of bacteria, which is often referred to as plaque that lines the tooth and begins to destroy small amounts of it until a small hole finally forms. The body cannot repair the hole on its own; fortunately, modern dentistry has created a method that will still allow you to keep your tooth. When dentists fill a cavity, they are removing the bacteria on the surface of the tooth and replacing the hole with a tooth-like substance known as a filling.
Are There Different Types of Fillings?
There are actually several different types of fillings, but the most commonly used are amalgam and composite resin fillings. Amalgam is usually made from mercury, copper, zinc, tin and silver and composite is usually made from small pieces of silica encased in a plastic resin. Composite resembles the tooth, so it is a much more popular choice; however, they might be more expensive then amalgam fillings.
Will the Process Hurt?
Your dentist will most likely apply a local anesthetic to numb the area, and very few patients report that they experience a great deal of pain as a result. The process itself is very mild. One of the biggest complaints patients report is sensitivity to the tooth for a few days after the procedure. If the sensitivity does not go away, you should let your dentist know. The process itself may be as little as 30 minutes long.