Hosaka Family Dental

How are tooth colored fillings placed?


Tooth colored fillings are one of the most common procedures done at Hosaka Family Dental. Dr. Hosaka uses tooth colored fillings to repair teeth that have been broken down by cavities and breakage. The tooth colored filling is used to replace lost parts of the tooth. It allows the repair of teeth to their natural shape and color. 


Here is a walkthrough of a typical filling appointment, and the details of how a filling is placed.
Each of our dental treatments rooms is equipped with a big screen TV. We can play something on the TV so you can relax with a show or your favorite music. Once you are comfortable, we will start the tooth numbing process. Most teeth that need fillings are numbed for the procedure. These include teeth with cavities and teeth that needs fillings replaced. Teeth with small chips, like a front tooth that needs the biting edge repaired, usually do not need to be numbed. When a cavity or old filling needs to be removed from a tooth, the tooth can feel sensitive during the removal process, so local anesthetic is used to put the tooth to sleep during the procedure. 

Dr. Hosaka can verify that a tooth is numb by testing the tooth with a cold spray test. He will place a cold cotton swab on the tooth. If the tooth cannot feel any cold, it means that the tooth has become numb.

The dental assistant will place a topical numbing jelly near the tooth that needs work. This helps to numb the gum before a shot is used to place the numbing medicine. After the numbing starts to work, the tooth will not feel any sensitivity or pain during the procedure. While waiting for the numbing medicine to work, the shade of filling material to be used will be selected to match the tooth. Tooth colored filling material is available in a variety of different tooth colors. 

For most fillings, Dr. Hosaka uses a special suction device called a “dryshield” or “isolite” during the procedure. The device is a soft silicone wedge that is gently inserted in between the upper and lower teeth to help support the jaw during the procedure. This allows the patient to bite and rest on the wedge instead of straining to open during the entire procedure. The device also has a small flap to keep the tongue out of the way. The device connects to our suction line to suck away the water and debris inside the mouth. 

It is very important to keep the tooth dry while placing the filling. The tooth colored filling cannot be placed successfully if the tooth becomes wet with saliva. The suction device helps Dr. Hosaka work efficiently and achieve a good result. 

The tooth is then shaped to remove tooth decay or old filling material. During this part of the procedure, Dr. Hosaka concentrates on being minimally invasive, to preserve as much of the healthy tooth material as possible. Since the tooth is numb, the patient only feels vibration during the procedure, no sensitivity or pain.

Once the tooth is cleaned and shaped, Dr. Hosaka may place a shaping tool around the tooth to help him shape the filling material correctly. He then places a desensitizing medicine to soothe the tooth. After that, he places a special agent that prepares the tooth surface to accept the filling material. He uses a dental curing light to activate the material. The tooth colored filling is then placed and shaped to the correct contour to match the tooth. The material joins, or bonds to the tooth after it is activated by the curing light. 

The filling procedure is almost done after the filling is placed. Dr. Hosaka shapes and polishes the filling. He checks the tooth with floss and also checks the bite with a marking paper. Once the bite is correct, he will polish the tooth again.

He can then show you the awesome result!


If you have any questions about a filling appointment, please contact Dr. Hosaka at Hosaka Family Dental today


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