How long does it take to fill a cavity?

This blogpost will answer the question How long does it take to fill a cavity?

And will include the following topics:What is a dental filling?

The Filling Procedure: What to Expect

What are the different types of fillings?

How do you know if you need a filling?

How long does it take for a filling to set?

How long does it take to heal?

How long do fillings last?

How to Prevent Cavities

How long does it take to fill a cavity?

Filling is a popular and uncomplicated process that doesn’t take long to accomplish. A normal filling treatment is only around an hour long. If you have many cavities that need to be filled, your dentist may schedule multiple appointments to fix them.

Furthermore, depending on the materials utilised for the filling, it may take longer or necessitate a second visit.

For instance:

Composite resin material that’s layered into your tooth takes more time, but it’s completed in one visit.

Some composite fillings may be made from an impression and require a second visit to bond the filling.

Gold or porcelain fillings, also known as inlays or onlays, are often not performed in a single appointment. On the initial appointment, the cavity will be filled and an imprint of your tooth will be taken, which will be sent to a lab to be fabricated. The filling is cemented to your tooth during the second session.

What is a dental filling?

Cavities, which are decayed regions of a tooth that create tiny holes, are commonly treated with dental fillings. During a filling, your dentist uses a material like amalgam or composite to fill these holes. Despite the fact that this is a basic and normal process, many people experience tooth sensitivity as a consequence of it.

Tooth sensitivity usually goes away on its own within a few days or weeks, depending on the reason.

The Filling Procedure: What to Expect

Cavities are generally simple to treat by dentists. To begin, a local anaesthetic, such as lidocaine, is used to numb the area of the mouth that will be treated. This anaesthetic is injected into the gum tissue, which might induce a stinging sensation for a short time. The dentist will begin the procedure after the region is completely numb.

The dentist will then use a dental drill or a laser to remove decay from the tooth. The place must be readied for a filling after the deterioration has been eliminated. The dentist will shape the region and may use an acid gel to etch the tooth depending on the type of filling used.

The dentist will apply the filling material when the tooth has been prepped. A special light is required to harden some filling materials. Your dentist will flash a bright light on your filling multiple times during the operation if you’re getting this sort of filling.

Finally, the dentist will polish the filling. This process smooths the filling and removes any sharp edges that could injure your tongue or the lining of your cheeks

What are the different types of fillings?

The different materials that can be used to fill your cavity will be discussed with your dentist. The following materials are some of the most popular choices:

Silver-colour fillings

Metal amalgams are amalgams made up of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. This substance is more durable than tooth-colored fillings, and it is often less expensive. Some individuals may be concerned about the mercury level, but despite the fact that amalgam fillings are being phased out, scientists have found no clinical evidence that they are dangerous.

White tooth-colored fillings (composites)

Glass or quartz particles are mixed with acrylic resin to make these. This material is more expensive than metal amalgams, but it is more durable.

Gold fillings

This alloy of gold, copper, and other metals is extremely durable, but it is also more costly. They also don’t appear to be natural. After your dentist makes an impression of your tooth, gold fillings are generally produced in a lab.

Glass ionomer fillings

These are tooth-colored as well, although they are not as strong as composites. They’re constructed of acrylic and fluoride-containing glass, which can help prevent cavities. They’re more costly than amalgams and are commonly utilised for children’s teeth.

Porcelain fillings

These, while about as expensive as gold fillings, look natural. They’re made in a lab after the dentist takes an impression of your tooth.

How do you know if you need a filling?

Cavities can be detected early if you visit your dentist on a regular basis. The sooner a cavity is addressed, the better, thus investing in frequent dental examinations is a good idea. You may have a cavity if you haven’t gone to the dentist in a while or if you’re feeling any of the following symptoms:

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 feel you have a cavity, make an appointment with your dentist right away. They will be able to tell you if you require a filling or other treatment.

The good news is that filling a cavity in your tooth will not take up much of your time. You’ll be back to smiling in no time once your cavity is treated, since it’s a reasonably quick and painless operation.

How long does it take for a filling to set?

How long your filling will take to set depends on the material your dentist uses.

Amalgam fillings set slowly in the first hour and fully in around 24 hours. It’s advisable to wait until the filling has completely set before eating hard foods with this kind of filling.

Light curing is common for composite and glass ionomer fillings. They’re applied in layers of 1 to 2 millimetre thickness, requiring 2 to 20 seconds per application.

With the help of the dentist’s blue wavelength light, ceramic fillings set almost immediately.

How long does it take to heal?

The majority of fillings heal without a hitch. Your tooth may feel a little sensitive when the anaesthesia wears off, but this normally passes in a day or two.

“Post-op cold sensitivity can occur with metal fillings, like dental amalgam and gold, for a few days or even weeks. This is less common but still possible with a bonded composite or glass ionomer filling.”

You can reduce tooth sensitivity by:

chewing on the other side of your mouth for a couple of days

brushing and flossing more gently than usual around the filling

avoiding hot or cold food or drinks

avoiding acidic foods

using a desensitising toothpaste

taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)

Let your dentist know if your bite feels off, or if you have any long-lasting pain or sensitivity. Your dentist may need to adjust the filling surface to improve your bite.

How long do fillings last?

Your oral hygiene has a role in how long your filling lasts. Dental care can extend the life of your filling and prevent the formation of a new cavity on your tooth. The materials used in a filling can also affect how long it lasts.

Keep in mind that everyone’s teeth and lifestyle are unique, thus these periods may fluctuate from one individual to the next. Statistically speaking:

amalgam fillings last 5 to 25 years

composite fillings last 5 to 15 years

gold fillings last 15 to 20 years

How to Prevent Cavities

Remember to have proper dental hygiene practises to avoid cavities. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day is recommended. This regimen aids in the removal of plaque and food particles that might lead to cavity development. Because cavity-causing bacteria feed on sweets, it’s also a good idea to avoid candy and drink.

Regular dental visits are extremely vital, so don’t neglect your biannual appointments. These appointments allow your dentist and dental hygienist to thoroughly clean and check your teeth for cavities.

If a cavity is left untreated, the decay may spread, necessitating more thorough treatment. While getting a cavity isn’t enjoyable, the procedure only takes about an hour, so make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Other FAQs about Teeth Cavities that you may be interested in.

Why am I getting cavities all of a sudden?

Can you keep a cavity from getting worse?

Can you have multiple cavities in one tooth?

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