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Dental fillings may cause discomfort, but the procedure should only cause mild to no pain. Several factors will determine your pain levels, including:
Getting a cavity filled should restore teeth and reduce pain, not add to it. It’s far more painful to leave your cavities untreated. Without a filling, cavities can result in severe pain, infection, swelling, and dental abscesses.
You’ll likely still be numb immediately after the procedure, so you won’t feel any pain until the anesthesia wears off. It’s normal to feel some discomfort for a day or two following the procedure.
You may initially notice bleeding on the gums and heightened tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods/drinks and cold air. All of these symptoms should be temporary and mild. After a day or two, you should be able to eat and drink as usual.
Contact your dentist if you experience severe pain, swelling, or fever. You may have an infection, an allergic reaction to the filling material, or further damage to your tooth or nerve.
Most dental filling procedures involve a local anesthetic to numb the area and prevent you from feeling pain.
Your dentist will apply a numbing gel to your gums before injecting local anesthesia, typically lidocaine. This, along with gently massaging your cheek and injecting slowly, will help minimize pain from the injection. Once it’s taken effect, you won’t feel any pain.
However, during the procedure, “it is absolutely normal to still feel pressure and vibrations,” says our in-house dentist, Dr. Khushbu Aggarwal.
No, not every cavity filling requires local anesthesia. If your cavity only affects your enamel or the surface layer of your tooth, your dentist may not numb you for the procedure.
Your tooth enamel doesn’t contain cells that can transmit pain to your tooth nerve. A minor cavity that only involves a small filling won’t be painful, even if you opt out of anesthesia or numbing.
You can make the recovery process easier for yourself after getting a cavity filled by following a few simple tips for a few days.
Dental professionals suggest:
You should maintain good oral hygiene, use fluoride toothpaste, and visit your dentist regularly as directed.
A dental filling restores a tooth with a minor to moderate cavity. Your dentist will fill the cavity hole with a filling material such as composite resin, silver amalgam, or glass ionomer. Gold and porcelain filling materials are used for inlays, onlays, and crowns.
Cavity fillings are a common procedure that takes one or two dentist office visits to complete.
Minor cavities can take as little as 20 minutes to fill. More severe or multiple cavities may require a longer procedure.
The process follows these steps:
Dr. Aggarwal explains that some people are more at risk for developing cavities than others, particularly for genetic reasons.
While these genetic factors can’t be changed, you can take some simple steps to keep cavities at bay.
Dr. Aggarwal recommends:
Dental fillings restore your tooth after a cavity. The procedure for filling a cavity typically doesn’t cause pain, though you may feel some discomfort.
Your dentist will use a numbing agent and local anesthetic to prevent pain during a dental filling. If your cavity only affects your tooth enamel, you might not need anesthesia for a painless procedure.
Recovery from a filling usually takes a day or two. You may experience some temperature sensitivity or tenderness when chewing. However, if you have symptoms like severe pain or swelling, contact your dentist immediately.
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