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How Should I Prepare for My Fillings?

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Fillings are one of the most common dental procedures. Performed on thousands of people every year, this outpatient operation is quick and painless. However there is always the slight risk of a complication occurring, which is why it’s imperative to inform your dentist of your current health and medical history.

Dental Filling

What to do before you get a dental filling

Localized anesthetics are usually not used in these procedures, but when they are, possible negative interactions with prescription drugs and/or over the counter medication need to be avoided.

You should bring an up-to-date copy of any and all medical conditions you may currently have, and inform your dentist of recent changes in your diet and overall health. Your dentist will advise you on whether to temporarily stop taking certain medications before the appointment, so be sure to adhere to this advice.

Women who are nursing or pregnant should keep their doctor informed about that as well, as chances are the procedure will need to be scheduled for a later date to avoid potential safety risks.

As said, getting a filling is typically not stressful, but many patients have understandable concerns nonetheless. To stay comfortable and keep your mind at ease, it’s important to ask all the right questions. Some of the most common questions dentists get asked are:

  • How long will the operation take?
  • Will I be able to return to work the same day?
  • What kinds of filling materials are available, and which one is best for my needs?
  • What level of discomfort or pain is normal for this operation, and what medication, if any, will you prescribe me?
  • Do I need to schedule a follow-up appointment, and if so, when should this occur?

Dentists expect their patients to ask these types of questions, so never feel uncomfortable about voicing your concerns!

The purpose of a filling is to literally fill the gap left in a tooth that has suffered from dental caries, or general decay. Plaque and bacteria buildup lead to the formation of cavities, which in turn hinder the function and appearance of our teeth.

Filling materials range from silver amalgam (perhaps the most commonly used), composite resin, ceramic, gold, porcelain, and glass ionomer. Each of these products has its own pros, and some even have cons. Your dentist will help you make the right choice with regards to your individual needs, health and budget included.

Relax, stay calm, and the procedure will be over before you know it!


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Dr. Stacey Stein
A graduate from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto, Dr. Stacy Stein provides personalized care to each patient by explaining the risks and benefits of different treatment options in an honest way, and involves patients in their own care. With a focus on preventative, paediatrics, restorative, prosthodontics, and endodontics, she loves working with patients of all ages.