When a tooth has been compromised by decay, dental fillings are a standard procedure that help stop discomfort, reduce the risk of future problems, and restore a damaged tooth to its normal form and function. The process is generally painless and takes about an hour to complete. Untreated cavities (cavities) can lead to ongoing pain and even cause a dead tooth that only a root canal can save, making it extremely important to schedule an appointment for a filling sooner rather than later.
The amount of time it takes to receive a filling depends on the size and location of the cavity, as well as the type of filling material. Amalgam fillings are typically completed in 20 minutes to an hour and set weakly at first but are at full strength within 24 hours. Composite and glass ionomer fillings take longer because they are typically bonded in layers.
Your dentist will use anesthetic to make the experience as comfortable as possible. Children may require additional numbing or nitrous oxide to stay still during the procedure.
After the numbing wears off, your tooth may feel slightly sensitive or sore for a day or two, but this should go away quickly with diligent brushing and avoidance of very hot or cold foods and drinks. In the event that a filling seems to be uncomfortable or not fit properly, let your dentist know right away so they can adjust it. The lifespan of a dental filling is dependent on the location, the type of filling material, and how well you care for your teeth.