Cavities can emerge in any shape, size, and shade – from tiny, large, light, or dark. Regardless of how they appear to be, one thing is constant, and that is trouble for your oral health. But the good news is that dental fillings can solve mild to moderate damage, whether it is due to decay or chipping. If you have recently developed a cavity or want a filling for your tooth in general, be prepared to spend at least 20 minutes on the chair.
How Long Does It Take to Fill a Cavity?
If you are thinking of, “How much time do I need to set aside for a cavity filling?” Well, we can assure you that the procedure is quicker and straightforward than you imagine. On average, getting a dental filling for a cavity would take between 20 minutes to an hour at max; however, the exact duration varies depending on the cavity’s size and location.
The Filling Process
The process is painless; however, you might feel a certain amount of pressure in your mouth. Here’s what to expect:
- Anesthesia: Your dentist will start the process by applying a local anesthetic to numb the area around your affected tooth. This step makes sure that you do not feel any pain during the filling.
- Decay Removal: Once the numbing is all set, decayed tissues are taken out, followed by a preparatory phase for the filling.
- Filling Material: The type of material your dentist chooses as a filing affects the procedure’s duration mostly. Two common options are silver amalgam and composite resin. Silver takes a bit longer to place because it requires excess tooth material removal. On the other hand, composite resin fillings are popular due to their quicker placement and aesthetic appeal.
Direct vs. Indirect Fillings
Your call to go for either direct or indirect fillings also impacts the time required for the procedure:
- Direct Fillings: If your dentist chooses a direct filling, they proceed directly to add the filler material to the prepared tooth. Direct fillings are best for repairing mild to moderate tooth damage and are usually completed in one appointment.
- Indirect Fillings: For extensive damage, such as significant decay on the chewing surface of the tooth, your dentist may go for an indirect filling instead. This involves taking a dental impression of your mouth and sending it to a dental lab where the inlay or onlay (types of indirect fillings) is designed and manufactured to precisely fit your tooth. Once they are ready, you will be back for a second appointment to have it adhered to the affected tooth.
All in all, dental fillings play a vital role in preserving your oral health, and their duration varies depending on factors such as the type of filling, the extent of the damage, and whether or not it is a direct or indirect restoration. For more questions or queries, drop by The Smile Artisans at 18121 Tuckerton Road, Suite 140, Cypress, TX 77433, for an in-depth evaluation with a professional dental care expert, call (832) 220-6087 to connect with us.