What to Expect When Getting a Filling (Step-by-Step Guide)

May 28, 2019 | General Dentistry

We know that receiving dental care probably isn’t your first choice of things to do. And for those who have dental fear or anxiety, it’s probably the absolute last thing you want to do.

But at Utica Dental, we want to help you. We want to show you that not all dentists are bad and that we put your needs above all else.

So to help you overcome any mixed feelings about dentistry, we’re going to talk you through what to expect with certain dental procedures.

Today, we are going to explain what to expect when getting a filling at our dental office in Tulsa, OK.

Do note: This is a general overview of our process, and not all circumstances will be the same.

Step 1: Make you comfortable

A lot of people have experienced what it is like to get a filling, but not everyone has experienced dental care that focuses on them.

At Utica Dental, there is a certain comfort level we like to bring you to.

First, we welcome you back and escort you to your chair, which features massagers to help you relax.

Next, we will ask if you would like nitrous oxide. This is commonly known as laughing gas and can help ease your nerves and keeps your mind off the procedure at hand.

Once you are leaned back in the chair, we will place some topical anesthetic on your gum tissues to get you numb. At this time we will also hand you the remote so you can choose if and what you would like to watch on the TV built into the ceiling.

You are also welcome to bring in headphones and listen to your favorite podcast or music.

Step 2: Make you even more comfortable with more numbing

The next step is getting the area around the tooth completely numb.

To do this, we use a comfort syringe (an injection – but don’t fear) that carefully administers the appropriate amount of numbing agent for the filling treatment.

We are one of a few dental offices that use a comfort syringe. This instrument is computerized and systematically places the anesthetic at a speed that is comfortable and easy.

To ensure you are numb and won’t feel pain, we generally do one more injection.

If needed, we can also use a long-lasting anesthetic to help with any possible discomfort you may have. This numbing agent will last for several hours.

We allow for plenty of time for the anesthetic to disperse into the tissue and numb the area.

It’s important to note that numbing does not take away the feeling of pressure; you will feel vibrations and movement during the procedure. However, you should not feel any pain.

Step 3: Remove the cavity

Once you are comfortable and numb, we will begin removing the decay from your tooth.

Dr. Mike Hinkle is thorough and precise. You will hear a high-speed motor of the handpiece and pressure (not painful pressure) on the tooth we are preparing.

Once all the decay is removed, and healthy enamel is present, we can prep the tooth for the filling.

Step 4: Restore your tooth

Did you know, we do not use any metal fillings?

Instead, we use state-of-the-art composite bonded fillings.


Well, fun fact: Your teeth have pores. Yes, similar to your face.

Metal fillings are not able to fill those pores or bond to your teeth. That means food, biofilm, saliva, and bacteria can get under that silver filling.

Composite fillings use a bonding process that will bond into the pores of your enamel.

This helps with sealing off the area and giving you a seamless transition from tooth to filling.

Step 5: Perfecting the filling

Once the filling is placed, we will want to ensure your bite is in the proper position.

To do so, we will have you bite on a black piece of paper to see where your teeth are hitting.

We will adjust your filling until all your teeth hit at the same time when you bite.

Many time, we will request that you come back once you are not numb to make another adjustment. Why?

Many people do not bite the same when they are numb, and even just a millimeter difference can cause implications like soreness.

Step 6: At-home care

After you get a filling, you may experience that your tooth is sensitive to cold temperatures. Some patients experience it for a few days, while others experience it for a few months.

The severity of the sensitivity can depend on how deep (close to the nerve) the tooth decay was.

And as always, let us know how you are doing! We are here to help you.

If you experience continued sensitivity, discomfort, or pressure, please contact us so we can better serve you.

Have a question about dental fillings in Tulsa, OK?

We hope this helps step-by-step guide on what to expect with a dental filling helps you.

If you have a question, please feel free to contact us. We love sharing our expertise!