How Long Do Fillings Take?

May 15, 2024
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Dental fillings are important in preventing tooth decay and restoring a tooth’s shape and function. While cavities are painful and can cause discomfort, a filling relieves the pain and strengthens your tooth. The process is simple, but if you’re wondering, “How long do fillings take?” then keep reading.

Why are Dental Fillings Necessary?

Dental enamel is the hard outer layer of a tooth that protects the inner parts, provides strength for chewing, and insulates against temperature changes. However, it can still be damaged. Plaque, a thin, sticky layer, forms on teeth every morning and night.

Brushing and flossing are important to remove this plaque; otherwise, it hardens into tartar, which a dentist must remove to prevent tooth decay.

We need dental fillings to fix cavities caused by tooth decay. Fillings stop decay from spreading, relieve tooth pain, and restore the tooth’s shape and function. This allows you to chew and talk normally and helps prevent further dental problems.

How Long Does a Filling Take?

The time it takes to complete your dental filling depends on the following various factors:

  • How much decay needs to be removed.
  • How easy it is to reach the decayed tooth.
  • The type of filling material used.
  • How quick is your dentist in proceeding with the treatment.
  • The number of tooth surfaces that need the filling.

If you’re getting more than one filling, it’ll take more time. So, how long does a filling take? Usually, the longest part of the process is waiting for the anesthetic to kick in. Every person is different, so some may need more anesthetic if their gums take longer to numb.

If there’s a lot of decay, it can also take longer to clean it out. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to fill one tooth.

What to Expect During a Cavity Filling?

Your dentist will use a local anesthetic like lidocaine to numb the area where they will be working. They’ll inject it into your gums, which might sting a bit at first, but once everything’s numb, they start the procedure.

Your dentist will take out the decayed part of your tooth with a dental drill or a laser. After that’s done, they will prepare the tooth for the filling. They’ll shape the area and, depending on the type of filling, might use an acid gel to etch the surface.

When your tooth will be ready, your dentist will apply the filling material. If it’s a type that needs to be hardened, they’ll use a special light to make it solid. Throughout the procedure, your dentist may shine this light on the filling a few times.

After placing the filling, your dentist will polish it to make it smooth. This step helps to remove any sharp edges so you don’t accidentally hurt your tongue or the inside of your cheeks.

Final Word

Getting a dental filling is quick, usually taking only 15-20 minutes, so don’t delay—it could lead to bigger and more expensive problems. Since molars and back teeth are harder to see and more likely to get cavities, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist twice a year for check-ups.

To book an appointment for a dental filling, contact the experts at Saifee Family Dentistry by calling (281) 350-5600.

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