We all love to indulge in delectable sugar pastries or candies once in a while. While having a sweet tooth isn’t bad, the love for something sweet comes with a price tag called cavities! Tooth decay can cause a lot of problems and significantly impact our long term oral health.
Fixing your cavities using dental fillings is essential to prevent further decay and enjoy better oral health. But the key question is, how long does a filling take to complete?
Fun fact: Did you know the oldest dental filling happened almost 6500 years back in the Stone Age, and it was made of wax?
Before we look at how long a filling takes, let’s look at the warning signs that you may have tooth decay,
Common symptoms of tooth decay
Before there’s visible tooth decay, one of the most common symptoms experienced is that the area becomes sensitive. This feeling of sudden chill or piercing pain when you eat something too cold or hot should be enough to alarm you. If left untreated, cavities won’t just cause damage but will also lead to expensive and complex treatments in the long term.
If you suspect you have tooth decay, you might want to arrange a consultation with the professionals at Synergy Dental and find out the best treatment to restore your tooth. If caught early enough, a straightforward dental filling is often all that’s required.
So how long does a filling take?
We understand that people feel upset at the thought of a dental filling spoiling their smile. Thankfully, we offer patients white composite dental fillings that provide strength, durability, and improved aesthetics compared to old-style metal fillings. Minor dental fillings generally take around 20 minutes, but the more significant the hole in your tooth, the longer the dental filling will take.
So now you know the answer to your question, “how long does a filling take?” you may be wondering what happens during the procedure. Well, let’s take a closer look.
The procedure for white coloured dental fillings
First, our dentist will numb the surrounding tissues in your mouth using local anaesthesia. You may feel a slight pinching sensation during this part. Once injected, the area will become numb, and the entire procedure will be relatively painless, although you may experience a little discomfort.
The dentist will then remove any tooth decay using either a laser or a mechanical drill and shape the cavity to accommodate the filling. He then fills the prepared cavity with layers of composite resin. A high-intensity light is shone on each layer to harden the material. Once the tooth cavity is full, the dentist smooths away any rough edges and polishes the filling to blend in with the tooth.
Because the composite resin is matched to the shade of the neighbouring teeth, no one needs to know you have a dental filling. All they will see is your beautiful smile.
As mentioned earlier, how long dental fillings take depends on the extent of the damage.
Once the anaesthetic wears off, you may experience soreness or increased sensitivity in the area once. However, there’s nothing to worry about, as this feeling will subside over the next few days. You may also need to avoid foods that are hard to chew or sticky substances until your filling has settled down.
Benefits of dental fillings
Composite fillings can last as long as 7 to 10 years with care and have many benefits: They:
- Are suitable for any area of your mouth, even the back molars
- Help to retain the structure of your teeth and restore bite functionality
- Are aesthetically pleasing as they can be matched to your natural tooth shade
- Can be completed in a single dental appointment
- Are durable and long-lasting
While you have the answer to how long does a filling take, we’re sure you would rather avoid the need for any future tooth fillings.
How to maintain good oral health and prevent tooth decay in the future?
The key to preventing further tooth decay is to practise good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once. Combine this with regular dental check-ups, and your dental fillings and smile should last a long time.
If you think you may need a dental filling or you’re overdue a dental check-up, don’t hesitate to book in for a New Patient Examination Package and receive a complimentary take-home whitening kit worth $450. Our team of experienced gentle dentists are standing by to take your call and welcome you to Synergy Dental in Parkdale.
Call us on (03) 7003 2185 today for a consultation.