How Long Do Fillings Take for Tooth Cavities?

How Long Do Fillings Take for Tooth Cavities?
Posted on 02/04/2022

Cavities happen to lots of people and are very common. But how do you get them fixed? At Maplewood Dental Associates, one procedure that we offer to help cavities are dental fillings. Dental fillings are used to seal a small hole in your tooth (which is typically caused by dental decay). Fillings prevent the decay from spreading further into your tooth and into the inner pulp tissue that’s in the root canal. If you have a cavity and are looking to get a dental filling, here is what you need to know before the procedure is done.

What to Expect Before & During a Dental Filling

Fillings are relatively simple to perform and receive. Here are the basic steps a dentist performs on a patient when dealing with tooth filling.

  1. Before the procedure is done, your dentists will examine your mouth and take any x-rays/scannings to see the extent of the decay.
  2. They will then numb the tooth area to help prevent any pain from occurring (you may not need an anesthetic if the filling is just on one tooth).
  3. Then, your dentist will most likely drill through the tooth enamel to remove the decay (or in some cases, they will use a laser or an air abrasion tool).
  4. Next, your dentist will sterilize and fill the hole.
  5. Finally, your dentist will polish the tooth and check to make sure that your bite is correct.

Once the numbing has worn off, your tooth may feel a little sore or sensitive after the filling, but you shouldn’t have any pain. For the next couple of days, your dentist will recommend that you avoid very hot or cold foods/drinks.

How Long Does It Take?

Dental fillings usually take an hour or less to perform. A simple filling may take as little as 20 minutes. Larger filling or multiple fillings can take longer than 1 hour.

It’s also important to know what materials your dentist is using during the procedure. Some materials for the dental filling can make the procedure longer, or require multiple visits. For instance:

  • Composite resin material that’s layered into your tooth takes more time to install.
  • Some composite fillings may be made from an impression, which in most cases, will require a second visit to bond the filling.
  • Gold or porcelain fillings usually can’t be done in one sitting. In the first visit, the cavity will be removed and an impression will be made of your tooth. Then it is sent to a lab to fabricate the filling. Once done and sent back to your dentist, you will come in for a second visit to get the filling to be bonded with your tooth.

Get Dental Care Today at Maplewood Dental Associates!

If you or someone you know needs dental care, contact us at Maplewood Dental Associates today! We offer comprehensive family dental treatment plans to everyone in the Maplewood, MN community! Our certified doctors and staff are excited to help you achieve a healthier, better-looking smile. If you have any questions or concerns before scheduling your first consultation, reach out to our office today! We can’t wait to get started working with you.

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