Getting a Filling? Here is What to Expect.

At some point in most of our lives, we need more than just a checkup with the dentist. It could be due to a cavity, an injury to the mouth, or other oral pain.

Cavities are one of the most common reasons for dental trips. Cavities occur when food and bacteria cause plaque to build up on your teeth. The plaque is acidic, and over time this can form holes in your teeth, in other words, your teeth are decaying.

Luckily the dental field has advanced a long way and has treatments readily available for when this happens. When it comes to cavities, usually you will get what’s called a filling. A filling can be resin, plastic, or metal. The cavity is removed and the filling is put in its place, making sure that you don’t walk around with a hold in your tooth.

If you have never had a filling before, it can be unnerving to think about. It is a simple process, the whole thing usually takes no more than an hour. Here is what you can expect.


Once you are in the chair, the dentist may take an X-ray of your mouth. The dentist would have already done this previously to identify the cavity, but this is a good way for them to ensure that they have the most up to date information. This doesn’t always happen when you get a filling, but it is very common.


Once the dentist is ready to begin, you will get your mouth, teeth, and gums numbed. This is done by administering a local anesthetic (medical speak for pain-numbing medication) into your mouth. To ensure that this is as painless as possible, the dentist will numb your mouth using a gel, and then inject the anesthetic, usually Lidocaine, into your mouth.

This numbing will be present throughout the entire operation and for several hours after. The amount of time it takes to wear off depends on the amount of medication administered, and your body.


Once the numbing has been completed, the dentist will start drilling the cavity. They are drilling the rotten or infected part of the tooth and removing it. This is rarely painful, dut to the anesthetic, though if you are experiencing pain they can generally give you more medication.

This part can be a little scary because you can hear the drill and can feel things happening (not pain, but you can feel movement and vibrations from the drill) but you can’t see what is going on. It is important to remain still and calm. Dentists are highly trained and very capable of doing this operation.


Once the bad part of the tooth has been removed, it is time to fill in the tooth. This is done so that you don’t have an awkward hole in your tooth, but also to prevent the tooth from becoming infected or more susceptible to disease.

There are several different filling types, ranging from resin to gold. There are different benefits to the different types of fillings, and also drawbacks. Gold fillings look super cool and last a long time, but they are quite expensive.


If you are going to take anything from this, just know that the process of getting a cavity filled is not anything to stress about. It is a simple procedure, and your dentist will take good care of you. While all dental services differ in process and intensity, just remember that regardless of what the problem is, the solutions are all tested methods that will allow you to have relief from pain and get maintain your 100-watt smile.

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