First time cavity? Find out what it's like to have a cavity filled.
Having a cavity filled is generally a straightforward procedure that is performed by a dentist or dental hygienist. Here's what you can expect during the procedure:
Numbing the area: Your dentist will start by numbing the area around the tooth to be filled with a local anesthetic. This will help prevent any pain or discomfort during the procedure.
Removing the decay: Once the area is numb, your dentist will use a drill or laser to remove the decayed portion of the tooth. This may involve removing some of the healthy tooth structure as well to ensure that all the decay is removed.
Filling the cavity: After the decay has been removed, your dentist will fill the cavity with a filling material. This may be a composite resin material that matches the color of your teeth or a silver amalgam material.
Shaping and polishing the filling: Once the filling is in place, your dentist will shape it to fit the contours of your tooth and then polish it to ensure a smooth, natural-looking finish.
The entire procedure usually takes between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size and location of the cavity. You may experience some sensitivity or discomfort in the area for a few hours after the procedure, but this should subside within a day or two. Your dentist may provide instructions on how to care for the filling, such as avoiding hard or sticky foods for a period of time or practicing good oral hygiene habits.