A filling is a way to repair a tooth damaged by decay and get it back to its normal function and shape.
Teeth are mostly attacked by acid produced by plaque as well as by the acidic foods and drinks that one consumes. Acids usually damage the area below the tooth surface, causing microscopic holes in the tooth. If the damage continues over a long time, the tooth becomes so fragile that a hole becomes visible in the tooth. The tooth will need a filling, as the hole gets bigger in size. However, there are other signs and symptoms where fillings can be required.
There is a vast difference between a Root canal and a filling. Filling is required when the tooth nerve has been damaged and is usually done before a root canal. Whereas root canal is needed to cut out the infected tissue inside the tooth, if the tooth is dying from an infection.
When you visit your dentist for a filling, he/she will first numb the area to be treated. They will begin the numbing process by applying a topical anaesthesia to the area before injecting it with an anaesthetic. After the mouth is numb, the dentist will remove the decay with a drill and then replace the decayed area with a filling.
After the filling, the patient will need to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss with dental floss. One will have to visit the dentist regularly for routine check-ups and teeth cleanings. One will also have to maintain a balanced diet and limit the intake of sugary foods and drinks, and between meal snacks.