How Long Do Fillings Take – What You Need to Know Beforehand

girl during dental procedure

Nothing’s worse than going for your annual dental checkup and finding out that you have a cavity. When this happens, you usually schedule a follow-up appointment, at which you’ll receive a filling.

Whether you fear the dentist and want to know how long you’ll be in the chair or live a busy life and need to figure out your schedule, it’s a good idea to know how long fillings take before you go in for your appointment.

This article will explain what a filling is, tell you how long they take, and provide you with additional information about this simple procedure.

Fillings 101

Before getting into how long fillings take, it’s essential first to ensure that you understand what a filling is.

A filling is a procedure to repair the damage done by tooth decay, also known as cavities. Cavities develop into tiny holes in your teeth caused by a few things, including:

  • Improper brushing
  • Bacteria in your mouth
  • Sugary drinks

A cavity can be uncomfortable or even painful and negatively affect how you use that tooth, especially when eating or biting down. As the name suggests, a filling fills that hole and prevents further damage to that tooth.

There are several different types of fillings, including:

  • Silver amalgam fillings
  • Gold fillings
  • Porcelain fillings
  • Composite fillings

Before the filling procedure, your dentist will numb the part of your mouth that the cavity is on to minimize the pain.

Once the procedure is over, your mouth may remain frozen for a few hours, but you should feel fine afterwards. If you feel pain, you can use over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help.

Cavities are incredibly common, which makes fillings a common procedure. Fillings are a simple procedure that dentists do every day and, most often, a painless one. Despite this, not everyone has had a cavity before, and some people may not know how long fillings typically take.

How Long Do Fillings Take?

Since they are a standard and relatively simple procedure, fillings will generally not take up too much of your day. Some people even get them done during their lunch break at work. However, the amount of time a filling takes depends on how complicated a filling you need.

A simple filling for a straightforward cavity can take as little as 20 minutes. More complex cavities may require more time. However, in general, one filling should take no more than an hour to do.

The other thing to consider is whether you’ll need multiple fillings. The number of fillings you need prolongs the length of your appointment and even the number of appointments you need. If you have numerous cavities around your mouth, you may need multiple appointments as your dentist may only numb a part of your mouth at a time.

Finally, while fillings for children are generally the same process as fillings for adults, the procedure can take more time for young children due to discomfort.

Other Filling and Cavity Tips

Knowing how long the filling procedure takes isn’t the only important element you should know about dental fillings. With additional knowledge of oral care, you’ll be better able to prevent the development of cavities in your mouth and therefore eliminate the need for fillings.

To help you out, here are a few additional fillings and cavity tips.

  • If you suspect a cavity, contact your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner it’s caught, the simpler your filling will be, whereas if you don’t address the problem soon enough, you may need a root canal.
  • To avoid cavities altogether, minimize the number of sugary drinks you consume and keep up good brushing and flossing habits. Also, avoid hard, chewy, sticky foods that can get stuck in your teeth and become challenging to get out.
  • It’s possible to require another dental filling in the same tooth in the future. However, you can lessen this risk by practicing good dental hygiene. If you feel discomfort or pain in the area after your filling, contact your dental professional ASAP, as it may be a sign of a more serious problem.

The Takeaway: It Will Be Over Before You Know It

girl during filling procedure

As diligent as you are in keeping up with your oral health, you may still have a cavity from time to time. When this happens, it’s essential to be prepared — including knowing how long fillings take. Getting a filling is a fear for many people, but it’s a procedure that dentists do every day and are highly skilled at.

At Shelburne Village Dental, we do composite resin dental fillings – also known as tooth-coloured fillings. These fillings are inconspicuous and better blend in with your teeth. If you’re in the Shelburne area and think you have a dental cavity, give us a call to get checked out today.

Our patients will always be our first priority. We are devoted to creating an exceptional experience with every patient that walks into our office.

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