How Long Does It Take To Fill A Cavity With Dental Fillings?
A cavity is a permanently damaged area in the hard surface of your tooth that develops into tiny holes when you have a decayed tooth. Tooth decay is a very common dental problem in people of all ages. It is caused by the infestation of the mouth by dental plaques.
A dental plaque is a sticky slimy film that covers the surface of the teeth. It is formed when there is an interaction between bacteria in the mouth, saliva, and sugary/starchy food particles. Dental plaques when not cleaned while brushing, flossing, and observing other oral care practices release acids using the sugary/starchy food particles. These acids wear down the tooth enamel and cause decay.
Tooth decay causes a tooth to lose its structure. It destroys a tooth aesthetically and can also cause severe pain and other dental and medical health problems. A lot of people opt for a tooth extraction procedure when they have cavities caused by tooth decay. However, a tooth extraction procedure should only be a last resort in treating tooth decay and dental cavities. A dental filling procedure can help to save a tooth damaged by dental cavity and decay.
A dental filling procedure is a dental treatment through which dental filling materials are used to repair missing or damaged teeth structures that occur as a result of tooth decay, accidents, or trauma to the face. Dental fillings are not only used for filling dental cavities, they are also used to fix chipped or broken teeth. A tooth can be chipped or broken as a result of biting hard, abuse of the teeth, or work/sport-related injuries.
When cavities are left untreated, they grow larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth, leading to worse conditions. Dental fillings can help to fill dental cavities, restore your tooth’s shape and structure. Some dental filling materials can even help to restore the aesthetic appearance of your teeth. Dental fillings can also help with tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. Finally, dental fillings can be used to even out the surface of a tooth, and improve jaw function. Dental fillings are a type of dental restorative treatment measure.
Types Of Dental Fillings
There are various types of dental fillings for teeth based on the type of materials used in making them. Your choice of fillings
The types of dental fillings available include:
- Amalgam fillings: Amalgam materials are the most used and most widely researched materials for dental procedures. Amalgam fillings are strong and this makes them suitable for filling cavities in teeth like the molar. Amalgam fillings are made from a combination of several metals. While this makes them very strong, it also makes them very visible when you laugh or smile. However, they are the least expensive types of fillings available.
- Metal fillings: Gold and silver are the most common types of metal fillings. While gold fillings can last as long as ten to fifteen years, they can also cost up to ten times more than other types of fillings. Metal fillings are also visible.
- Composite fillings: This type of fillings can be made to match the color of your teeth and are suitable if you don’t want your fillings to be seen. They bond with tooth structure well, are fairly durable, and should only be used for parts of the teeth that do not perform heavy chewing.
- Porcelain/Ceramic fillings: This type of dental filling is suitable if the area of decay to be covered is large. It is tooth-colored, doesn’t stain nor wear out easily. However, it can cost almost as much as a gold filling.
- Glass ionomer fillings: This type of filling is made from a combination of acrylic and glass. It releases fluoride which helps to protect and strengthen the teeth against further decay. It is very suitable for kids. However, it is not very durable and might need to be changed frequently.
Dental Fillings Procedure
Getting dental fillings is a simple and quick procedure. Your dentist might take X-rays of your teeth if needed.
Before filling cavities with dental fillings, your dentist numbs your teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues to prevent pain and discomfort during the procedure. Then the decayed portion of your tooth is drilled out and replaced with dental fillings.
How Long Do Fillings Take for Tooth Cavities?
Filling dental cavities can take about ten minutes to one hour depending on the size and location of the cavity.