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What is dental cavity filling? 

A dental cavity lodges the food you eat, germs and decomposed tooth. As the cavity becomes bigger and bigger, the germs may involve the nerve of the tooth causing root infection. To prevent this, the cavity if filled with a strong material that will prevent anything else from lodging in the cavity, and help you to eat with the tooth normally. The dental cavity can be filled with many different materials. The common ones are metal (silver amalgam), a tooth coloured polymer material (resin composite) or porcelain (dental ceramic). 

How is it done?

The dental cavity can be filled in two ways - directly by the dentist in a single sitting or by getting the filling made from a laboratory (which requires atleast two sittings). The direct (single sitting) filling is done for materials like silver and resin composite. Here, it is done in the following steps:
1. The tooth is numbed (anesthetized) to prevent any sensation during the cavity filling procedure. 
2. All decomposed and bacteria-filled areas of the tooth are removed with a dental drill. This will leave a clean hole or cavity in the tooth. This clean cavity is further shaped by the dentist to get a good filling. 
3. The cavity is filled with the filling material. 
4. Once the filling material is set strongly, it can be polished to make it smooth. 
 The cavity fillings that are made in the dental laboratory are much stronger than these direct fillings. They are called as inlays or onlays (depending on their size; onlays are generally bigger). 
1. The tooth is numbed (anesthetized) to prevent any sensation during the cavity filling procedure. 
2. All decomposed and bacteria-filled areas of the tooth are removed with a dental drill. The clean hole or cavity left behind is further shaped by the dentist to get a good, long lasting dental filling. 
3. An accurate measurement or "impression" is made of the cut cavity in the tooth. 
4. Using the impression in the dental laboratory, a filling is made that fits perfectly into the cavity. This can be made with metal alloys or with ceramic. 
5. In your second sitting, the inlay is permanently fixed in the cavity using special material called dental cements. 
how is dental cavity filled

Steps in Dental Cavity Filling: 
1. Cavity is cleaned with a dental drill using water spray under pressure. 
2. The cavity is further shaped to get a good filling. 
3. The filling can be made directly by the dentist in the cavity or fabricated in a laboratory to be fixed (cemented) into the cavity by the dentist. 

What else should I know about Dental Cavity Filling? 

Dental cavity fillings are a simple way to keep your teeth healthy and strong. If done before the cavities become too deep, they will help you in eating with the teeth normally. If this treatment is delayed, the cavities may reach the nerve of the tooth - when more extensive procedures like root canal treatment (RCT) become necessary. 
 Not all deep cavities need RCT. Sometimes, the dentist may clinically judge the cavity to be deep but not involving the nerve of the tooth. In such a case, specially designed medicaments are placed in the depths of the cavity and a filling can be done. Such teeth may still require RCT, but the chances are less. 
  Recent studies indicate that not all dental decay requires fillings. Fluoride treatment with good oral hygiene practices is a good way to prevent cavities from becoming deeper. For early cavities, this non-invasive treatment modality may be employed rather than the more extensive drilling for a cavity filling. But once again, such preventive treatments can only work in the early stages of tooth decay, and that is why annual dental check-ups are important to detect dental problems early. 
A quick "brush-up"
Dental Cavity Filling, Inlays and Onlays
Done for 
Dental decay, Tooth cavities
Number of sittings
1-2 sittings of 30-60 minutes
Pain/ Discomfort
Sensitivity if done without anesthesia, Sensitivity after filling occasionally that subsides soon
Deep cavities may need Root Canal Treatment
Requires anesthesia (numbing)
Operative Dentist/ Endodontist