No one likes having cavities in their teeth, and while you might be tempted to put off going to the dentist, ignoring a cavity will only make it worse. Having a cavity filled in your tooth is one of the most common dental procedures and is typically painless. You might be wondering how long it takes to get a cavity filled, but there’s no need to worry as it generally takes less than an hour!
We’ve broken down the process of having a cavity in your tooth filled, that way you can get back to smiling your best smile again!
What Should You Expect When Getting a Tooth Cavity Filled?
Cavities might be pesky, but the good news is that they are relatively easy for dental professionals to fix. Normally your dentist will use a local anesthetic that will numb the area, so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. After numbing the area, your dentist will use a dental drill to remove any decay from the affected tooth. This will allow the tooth to then be prepared to be filled. Some types of fillings are hardened, or cured, using a blue wavelength light.
Once your tooth has been filled, your dentist will polish the area to remove any sharp points and will check your bite to ensure everything lines up nicely. Once the numbing has worn off, you may feel a little sore or sensitive, but you shouldn’t have any pain.
How Long Does a Filling Take?
Generally, having a cavity filled takes an hour or less. Some simple fillings may take as little as 20 minutes while a larger filling or multiple fillings could take longer. If you have multiple fillings, your dentist may choose to spread the fillings out over a few visits. The material used for the filling can also determine whether you need a second visit.
If you need to have an old filling replaced, this typically takes about the same time as getting a new filling. If the old filling must be drilled out, the procedure could take a bit longer.
How Do You Know If You Need a Filling?
If you are seeing your dentist regularly, cavities can be caught early on. The sooner a cavity is treated, the better, so it is smart to invest in regular dental checkups. If you haven’t been to the dentist recently, or are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you might have a cavity:
- Teeth sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
- Teeth sensitivity to sugary foods and drinks
- An ongoing ache in a tooth
- A hole or pit in a tooth
- A tooth stain, either white or darker in colour.
If you think you might have a cavity, make sure to book an appointment to see your dentist. They will be able to determine whether you need a filling or other treatment.
The good news is that having a tooth cavity filled won’t take up too much of your time. Being a relatively quick and painless procedure, once you have your cavity treated you will be back to smiling in no time!