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How do fillings work for my dental health?

ANSWER

Cavities break through the surface enamel of teeth, and they'll probably get bigger unless you close them off with fillings.

Your dentist will numb your mouth before drilling around the cavity to prep it. A combination of strong materials or a white mix called a composite goes into the cavity soft and then hardens as it dries. You may feel pain or pressure when getting the numbing shot and during the drilling.

Once set, fillings can last a long time but need replacing if they break or wear down.

From: FAQ About Dental Health WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Dental Association: "Toothbrushes," "Floss/Interdental Cleaners," "Mouthwash (Mouthrinse)," "Fluoride: Topical and Systemic Supplements," Dental Sealants," "Statement on the Safety and Effectiveness of Tooth Whitening Products."

Mouth Healthy: "Top Ten Dental Symptoms," "6 Habits That Harm Your Teeth (And How to Break Them)."

Cleveland Clinic: "Dental Check-Up," "Dental X-rays," Dental Bonding," "Could You Be Ruining Your Teeth With These 5 Bad Habits?"

KnowYourTeeth: "Children's Dental Visits: Parents, Prepare Yourselves."

Campaign for Dental Health: "Is Fluoride Safe?"

CDC: "Children's Oral Health," "Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities."

Mayo Clinic: "Cavities/tooth decay."

Journal of the American Dental Association : "When a filling needs to be replaced."

Reviewed by Alfred D. Wyatt Jr. on June 14, 2018

SOURCES:

American Dental Association: "Toothbrushes," "Floss/Interdental Cleaners," "Mouthwash (Mouthrinse)," "Fluoride: Topical and Systemic Supplements," Dental Sealants," "Statement on the Safety and Effectiveness of Tooth Whitening Products."

Mouth Healthy: "Top Ten Dental Symptoms," "6 Habits That Harm Your Teeth (And How to Break Them)."

Cleveland Clinic: "Dental Check-Up," "Dental X-rays," Dental Bonding," "Could You Be Ruining Your Teeth With These 5 Bad Habits?"

KnowYourTeeth: "Children's Dental Visits: Parents, Prepare Yourselves."

Campaign for Dental Health: "Is Fluoride Safe?"

CDC: "Children's Oral Health," "Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities."

Mayo Clinic: "Cavities/tooth decay."

Journal of the American Dental Association : "When a filling needs to be replaced."

Reviewed by Alfred D. Wyatt Jr. on June 14, 2018

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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