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Filling a Cavity: What to Expect?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Our daughter has a cavity, evidently from not flossing enough, since it's in between two baby molars. She's having it filled on Thursday, and wants to know what to expect. I called her dentist and the receptionist told me they use "giggle gas, then freeze it, but we don't talk about freezing it, and then he fills the cavity."

I thought I'd post here to see if anyone would share first-hand experiences. I've never had a cavity and my husband only had a few as a kid. He can't remember and it's probably different now, anyway.

Is the nitrous oxide dangerous?
I'm assuming "freezing" is a shot for numbing? What is it, exactly?
How do they fill a cavity that is between two molars?
How did you/your kids handle it?
Any tips when she starts getting scared?

Thanks in advance!

Cheers, from
SwampWitch
post #2 of 19
3 of mine just had fillings done last week.They had NOTHING!!! No numbing,nothing at all.The Dentist just drilled the tooth and filled them with the white filling.
Mine didn't mind it at all to be honest.The drill is the scariest thing for them.
post #3 of 19
To me, its no big deal, but I like dentist needles. For kids, I don't know how they would react though.
post #4 of 19
By the way, my kids that had them done are 6,13, and 16
post #5 of 19
If it's just a filling, why the heck are they giving her nitrous oxide? Does she scream and cry and freak out at the dentist? No, it's not particularly dangerous, it just seems excessive. Usually all they do is a shot of novocain/lidocain/etc in the gums to numb the actual teeth/jaw.

Make sure you get the composite (white) filling. It might cost a little more, but the hole they drill is smaller, you can't see it, it's not half mercury, and it's dry/set when you leave the dentist.

I actually like going to the dentist.
post #6 of 19
I've had lots of cavities filled. Never had laughing gas for a filling - but it will definitely help relax her.

Tell her it is NOT going to hurt. Her tooth may be a little sensitive to hot and cold for a few days after the filling is done, but it's a breeze. The noise of the drill is the scariest part - and noise doesn't hurt.

With the laughing gas, which isn't dangerous, it'll relax her and make her feel kind of like everything's far away, but she'll still be aware of what's going on, so that's not scary.

Then they'll rub something on the gum to numb it, so she definitely won't feel any pain when he gives the shot for the novacaine. She'll feel the pressure of the needle, but it won't hurt at all.

They'll use a drill to "clean out" any rotten part of the tooth or teeth (I'm not sure what inbetween two molars means - whether it's just one tooth with a cavity or both teeth). They'll clean it, and then pack whatever filling stuff they use.

That's it! Whatever part of her face that is on will be "numb" from the novacaine for another 1/2 hour or hour or so. It means she won't have muscle control in that part of her cheek and side of her lips, so if she tries to drink or something, use a straw, or some water or whatever will dribble out - we always thought it was kind of fun and funny.

The most important thing is to make sure she understands it won't hurt. She may feel some pressure from the needle for the novacaine, and she'll be able to feel the dentist moving things around in her mouth - but she won't feel any pain.

And while there may be people that have reactions to laughing gas or novacaine, the numbers must be very, very small and generally very, very safe because it is such standard stuff used by all dentists, orthodontists, periodontists and oral surgeons.

In fact - if you're used to having cavities filled, it's pretty easy to skip everything and just get the shot of novocaine. My mom used to skip even that.

Best of luck - I'm sure everything will go well!

Laurie
post #7 of 19
It appears (I had to go look ) that when the dentist filled the cavity between 2 of my molars (as an adult ), he just drilled down one of the teeth with the cavity to get it cleaned out, and filled it back up. Must have been a really small drill! . I don't have a clue what they mean by "freezing"

BTW- I hate dentist needles- I'm really hard to numb .
post #8 of 19
I wish our Dentist would use something.
But, this is the same one that pulled Seth's back tooth (6 year old) with ONLY the numbing cream--no SHOT!!
post #9 of 19
I had my first (and only!) cavity when I was 25.
I was expecting the worst!
It really wasn't that bad.

The shots are novacaine and imo the worst part of the whole thing.
The nitrous was used, but turned off once I was relaxed and my gums fully numb.
post #10 of 19
Oooo! I had the cavity between molars a few years ago. It was annoying because no dentist would touch it except for the one I have now.

Anyhoo, my dentist numbs before drilling (no other dentist did this). He knows I'm deathly afraid of needles so he hides the needle (by covering his hand with it).

They give you a few minutes to numb...during that time you daughter can be fascinated by poking her cheek and not feeling it At least I do that.

Anyhoo, she'll hear a high pitch sound and after a minute or two he'll be done.

Oh and bring a bottle of Orange Juice just incase she overworks herself (like I do)
post #11 of 19
With mine (all done as an adult though) all he did was rub some numbing stuff on, then use the needle so I didn't feel it and then drilled away. I find the most uncomfortable part to be the thing they put around my tooth when filling it. That was for the ol fashion 'silver' fillings.
post #12 of 19
Ditto to what everyone else said. The most uncomfortable thing, though, is when the cavities are near the front of your mouth and they have to numb the upper gums. Apparantly having the needle inserted so close to your sinuses makes your eyes run. Made mine run, anyway, and the doctor teased me about crying over an itty bitty little needle.
post #13 of 19
Personally i would be happier iof they would give me gas first, the last time i went to the dentist for an absecess they didnt. I am deathly afraid of needles, and am hyper senstive to them..so no matter how well they numb me it hurts and i panic.

all that aside when i was a kid i had a couple cavitys. and they were filled easy enough..
post #14 of 19
My main problem is with the needle for the novacaine. I have had some dentists that did a really good job with it and all I felt was a small pinch and then pressure. I have had some dentists that did a really bad job and the shot really hurt, I know I am a big baby about the shot but I always dropped a dentist that gave really painful shots.
post #15 of 19
How old is your daughter? My kids get novocaine and haven't complained about the pain. And they usually put some numbing gel on before giving the novocaine shot. They actually like going to the dentist. Not me. When I was a kid, the dentist didn't wait for the novocaine to work, and it hurt like crazy.

Also, our dentist suggested flouride rinse after they brush to help with those hard to reach places.
post #16 of 19
Well I'm just a kid and I am worried but I did it before and it was easy bug the shot hurts a lot jk so this time I'm getting giggle gas and I'm new with that and it numbs your teeth and makes u feel silly and all that stuff so talk to your kid and ask her if she's afraid of the dentist and if she is try helping her get threw with the filling
Then they will first start with putting that laughing gas on here face and then give her the shot then do all the rest
post #17 of 19
What is YELLOW i asked Siri on my phone but she don't know so i thought oh maybe it's a primary color or something what do u think?
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post

Our daughter has a cavity, evidently from not flossing enough, since it's in between two baby molars. She's having it filled on Thursday, and wants to know what to expect. I called her dentist and the receptionist told me they use "giggle gas, then freeze it, but we don't talk about freezing it, and then he fills the cavity."

I thought I'd post here to see if anyone would share first-hand experiences. I've never had a cavity and my husband only had a few as a kid. He can't remember and it's probably different now, anyway.

Is the nitrous oxide dangerous?
I'm assuming "freezing" is a shot for numbing? What is it, exactly?
How do they fill a cavity that is between two molars?
How did you/your kids handle it?
Any tips when she starts getting scared?

Thanks in advance!

Cheers, from
SwampWitch

 


We don't use nitrous oxide for denistry where I live anymore, at least I've never heard of anyone having to have it.  I do know that some years ago I looked after a patient on a hospital ward that was so anxious about her dressing changes that nitrous oxide (laughing gas) was prescribed for her to use prior and during the dressing change.  It didn't seem to do her any harm.

Numbing is a needle injection. But most dentists these days "cater to cowards" and use an oral gel on the gums to numb them, prior to injecting the freezing.  I tell my dentist to skip the numbing agent and just inject the freezing.   The injected freezing works well.  Part of her face on the side she had the injections (they inject into more then one spot surrounding the tooth) will feel frozen, and when she touches it, she will feel like she's touching a block of wood.  It will take several hours for the freezing to come out, and during that time, she could experience some mild aching in the area.

For the filling, most dentists use what is called a "dental dam". Some clips are attached to teeth top and bottom and a thin piece of rubber-like material (think condom) is attached to the clips, forming a barrier between the teeth and the throat. This is so no tooth filings etc are swallowed.  It doesn't hurt, but it can be uncomfortable.

They use a very tiny small drill to drill in between teeth.  The depth of the cavity determines the amount of drilling needed.  Usually it's no more than a total of 1 or 2 minutes.  She shouldn't feel any pain; just a sensation.  And she will hear the sound of a drill, and will likely be splashed a bit with some water drops because when they drill there is also water involved.

When the filling is being put in (they use white fillings now), she will feel pressure.

That's pretty much it.

Dentists deal with children all of the time, so they are pretty good with calming their fears.

I suggest taking an iPOD or something so she can listen to music, or an audio book.  

One dentist I went to years ago had TVs embedded into the ceiling for patients to watch.  Most just have a mobile of some kind to keep you occupied.

I love, love, love going to the dentist. That chair they have is so crazy comfy that I fall asleep no matter what they are doing to my teeth!  LOL  My dentist told me that I'm one of a kind and that he's never met anyone that gets excited about going to the dentist, even when it's for a filling or a crown!  LOL

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the comments, but this thread was posted 8 years ago. My daughter is 17 now and the cavity was in a  baby tooth that is long gone. :lol3: 

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