How Long Does It Take to Get a Cavity Filled? [Comprehensive Answer] (2024)

How Long Does It Take to Get a Cavity Filled? [Comprehensive Answer] (1)


  • How long does the numbing effect last?
  • How long will the filling last?
  • How often should I have my teeth checked for cavities?

A cavity is a hole in your tooth that can occur from decay. Many cavities can be filled in a single visit to the dentist. However, the size, location, and severity of the cavity will dictate how long it will take to fill.

The first thing your dentist will do is assess the cavity. They will take X-rays to determine the size of the cavity and how close it is to the nerve. Once they have a better understanding of the cavity, they will then proceed to clean out the decay. This step is important because it removes any bacteria that is causing the decay.

After the cavity is cleaned out, your dentist will then fill the cavity with a composite resin. This material is matched to the color of your teeth and will blend in seamlessly. The filling will then be shaped to match the contours of your tooth and polished.

The entire process of getting a cavity filled can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. The depth and location of the cavity will dictate how long it will take to fill. In some cases, a crown may be needed which can extend the time it takes to fill a cavity.

If you have a cavity, it is important to have it filled as soon as possible. Decay can cause serious damage to your tooth if it is left untreated. So, if you think you may have a cavity, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.

How long does the numbing effect last?

The numbing effect from a local anesthetic typically lasts for a couple of hours. This window of time allows the anesthetic to take effect and numb the area so that you can undergo a procedure or treatment. The anesthetic works by temporarily blocking the nerves that transmit pain signals to the brain. This action prevents you from feeling pain. Once the anesthetic wears off, the pain signals can once again be sent to the brain, and you will begin to feel pain. The length of time that the numbing effect lasts depends on the type of anesthetic used and the dosage.

How long will the filling last?

When it comes to your dental health, one of the questions you may have is “How long will the filling last?” To help answer that, it’s important to understand what a filling is and what it’s made of. A filling is used to restore a tooth that has been damaged by decay or injury. The most common type of filling is made of a material called composite resin, which is a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles. Composite resin is available in a variety of colors, so it can be matched to the color of your tooth.

Once a filling is placed, it will last for many years. However, the lifespan of a filling depends on a few factors, such as the size of the filling and where it’s located in your mouth. The good news is that, with proper care, your filling can last a lifetime.

Here are a few things you can do to prolong the life of your filling:

•Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily.

•See your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.

•Avoid chewing hard foods (ice, candy, etc.) or using your teeth as tools (to open packages, etc.).

•Wear a mouthguard if you play sports.

If you have any questions or concerns about your filling, be sure to talk to your dentist. They can help you decide if a filling is the right option for you and, if so, which type of filling would be best for your needs.

How often should I have my teeth checked for cavities?

It's important to have your teeth checked for cavities on a regular basis. Depending on your individual situation, you may need to have them checked every three, six, or twelve months. Some factors that can affect how often you need to have your teeth checked include how many cavities you have, how severe they are, and whether or not you have fillings.

If you have had cavities in the past, you are more likely to get them again. Therefore, you will need to have your teeth checked more often. If you have had more than one cavity, or if any of your cavities have been large, you will need to have your teeth checked every three months.

If you have fillings, you will also need to have your teeth checked more often. Fillings can crack and break, which can lead to cavities. Therefore, you should have your teeth checked every six months.

Even if you don't have any cavities, you should still have your teeth checked every twelve months. This is because cavities can form without you even knowing it. By having your teeth checked on a regular basis, you can catch problems early and prevent them from getting worse.

How can I prevent cavities?

Brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent cavities. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day. You should also use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Cavities are caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of food, bacteria, and saliva that forms on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque produce acids that eat away at tooth enamel.

If plaque is not removed, it can harden into calculus (tartar). Calculus is much harder to remove than plaque and can only be removed by a dental professional.

If plaque and calculus are not removed, they will continue to damage tooth enamel and eventually cause cavities. Cavities are holes in teeth that can range in size from small pits to large crater-like lesions.

Tooth decay is not only painful, it can also lead to other serious health problems. Cavities can cause infections that can spread to other parts of the body. They can also lead to tooth loss.

To prevent cavities, brush and floss your teeth every day. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. See your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.

What are the symptoms of a cavity?

The most common symptom of a cavity is a toothache. However, this isn’t always the first sign that something is wrong. Sometimes people with a cavity will notice that their tooth feels sensitive to hot or cold drinks. They may also see white spots on their teeth or notice that their teeth look more yellow than they used to. If a cavity is left untreated, it will continue to grow and will eventually cause pain. The pain may be constant or may only happen when you chew. In severe cases, the tooth may even break.

What happens if I don't get a cavity filled?

If you have a cavity, it is important to have it filled as soon as possible. If you do not have a cavity filled, the cavity will continue to grow larger. This can lead to pain and sensitivity, as well as an increased risk of tooth decay and infection. Untreated cavities can also cause problems with your jaw and other teeth. If you have a cavity, you should see a dentist as soon as possible to have it filled.

Can cavities be reversed?

Cavities, also called dental caries, are a very common oral health issue. They occur when the tooth enamel is damaged, allowing bacteria to enter the tooth and cause decay. The good news is that cavities can be reversed, but it requires commitment and diligence on your part.

The first step is to visit your dentist and get a professional cleaning. This will remove the tartar and plaque that has built up on your teeth, and will also help to identify any areas of decay. Once your dentist has determined that you have cavities, they will likely recommend a specific treatment plan.

The next step is to take care of your oral hygiene at home. This means brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash. It is also important to eat a healthy diet and avoid sugary drinks and snacks.

If you are committed to reversing your cavities, you will need to make these changes a part of your daily routine. It may take some time to get used to, but the results will be worth it!

How much does it cost to get a cavity filled?

A cavity is created when acids in your mouth dissolve the tooth enamel. This can happen from snacking often, not brushing your teeth well, or having dry mouth. The acids attack the enamel, and create a small hole, or “cavity.” Once the acids have created a cavity, bacteria can enter the hole and begin to multiply. The bacteria produce more acid, which further damages the tooth, and can eventually lead to an infection.

If you have a cavity, your dentist will remove the decay and fill the cavity with a material called a “filling.” The most common type of filling is made of a plastic resin and is called a “composite” filling. Metal fillings, or “amalgams,” are also used, but not as often as composites because they can cause the tooth to crack, and they are visible when you smile.

The cost of a filling will depend on the size of the cavity, the type of filling, where you live, and whether or not you have dental insurance. In general, a filling will cost anywhere from $50 to $200. Metal fillings are usually the cheapest, while composite fillings are the most expensive.

If you have dental insurance, your filling will likely be covered. However, you may still be responsible for a small “co-pay” or deductible. If you do not have dental insurance, you will be responsible for the entire cost of the filling.

If you think you have a cavity, the best thing to do is to see your dentist. He or she will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend the best treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a cavity filling last?

Will a cavity filling last forever? It depends on the specific filling and its material. Some fillings may only last for a few years while other types may last for many years. Generally, any type of dental filling will eventually deteriorate and need to be replaced.

Do I need a filling if I already have a cavity?

If your cavities are small, it may not be necessary to get them filled. Because tooth decay is a slow-moving condition, identifying cavities early on can prevent the need for a filling. How long does it take to get a filling? A filling usually takes an hour or less. In certain cases, a basic filling can be completed in as little as 20 minutes.

How long does it take to fill a tooth?

If it is a simple filling, it typically takes about 20 minutes. If there are multiple fillings, it can take longer.

How long does it take for a cavity to form?

A cavity can form in as little as a few days or as long as several months. Cavities generally take longer to form in permanent teeth because the decay needs to penetrate deeper into the tooth before it can form a cavity. However, if you have untreated decay on your front or back teeth, a cavity can form very quickly.

How long does it take to fill a cavity?

That varies depending on the extent of the cavity and how complex it is. In general, we would expect an average fill to take around an hour.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Cavity Filled? [Comprehensive Answer] (2)

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How Long Does It Take to Get a Cavity Filled? [Comprehensive Answer] (2024)


How long does it take to get a cavity filled? ›

Overall, the average time to complete a dental filling is about 20 minutes to an hour. However, the exact time it takes to get a dental filling can deviate based upon things like the type of filling, dental material, and the size of the decayed area.

How long will it take to get 3 cavities filled? ›

The procedure typically takes anywhere from 10 minutes to one hour but the time will vary depending on the size and location of the cavity. While fillings are a great way to repair mild to moderate damage, more significant damage may require the use of an onlay or full coverage crown.

How long is too long to wait to get a cavity filled? ›

Like most ailments, the longer you leave a cavity without treatment, the worse it's going to get. In a span of 3-6 months cavities can reach the nerve of your tooth. That's not good.

How long do 4 fillings take? ›

Getting holes filled might require ten minutes to 1 hour per tooth, depending on the size of the cavity and its location. In some cases, you might even need two appointments with the dentist near you to fill the hole in your tooth, especially if tooth decay removal compromises the integrity of the tooth.

Do fillings hurt without injection? ›

Some people elect to not have numbing gels or anaesthetics when having a cavity filled, but does I hurt when you get a cavity filled without numbing? Well, the answer should be no. When having a filling, your dentist won't reach the dental pulp inside the tooth where nerve endings are, so no pain should be experienced.

Can I get 5 cavities filled at once? ›

Technically, there is no limit to the number of filling you can get in one session. However, dentists do not recommend having more than three fillings at a time. Your mouth needs time to heal after the dental fillings procedure. Therefore, several fillings will make it harder for you to eat during the healing process.

Can you get 10 cavities filled at once? ›

Dentists may fill as many cavities as the patient is comfortable with having filled. With this being said, in most cases, dentists do not recommend having more than 3 cavities filled in one sitting. Your mouth needs time to heal.

How big of a cavity can a dentist fill? ›

Another standard is the width of the filling. Some say that a filling shouldn't be any wider than ⅓ of the distance between the cusps (high points) of a tooth. Others allow for up to 50% of this distance.

How urgent is a cavity? ›

Noticing a cavity for the first time isn't a dental emergency, but sometimes a cavity does warrant immediate attention from your dentist. If the pain is so severe that you can't wait for a regularly scheduled appointment, it may be a dental emergency.

Do cavity fillings hurt? ›

Do cavity fillings hurt? Here's the short answer: No. Most fillings cause little to no discomfort during any part of the procedure. This is a result of using highly effective numbing agents.

How urgent is getting a cavity filled? ›

Answer: Of course. The moment a cavity forms, it is essential that you receive a filling as soon as possible. The decay won't remain frozen in time. It will grow and will continue to destroy your dental tissue until your treatment.

Is 10 fillings too many? ›

There is no single number of how many times you can have a filling replaced. Usually, we will stop replacing the dental filling after the hole becomes too large. Once you have more filling material than natural tooth material your tooth no longer holds enough strength.

Can you eat after fillings? ›

To play it safe, stick to soft foods for the first 24 hours after having a filling. After that, slowly reintroduce other foods into your diet and pay attention to how your teeth feel. If you experience any discomfort, avoid that food until your dentist gives the okay.

How many fillings is considered a lot? ›

How many cavities can a dentist fill at once? Most dentists will not perform more than 4 fillings in one sitting. Technically there is no limit to home many fillings can be given at a time. However, we do not recommend doing more than four at one time.

Which is more painful tooth extraction or filling? ›

If you're trying to choose between the two options and wondering “which is more painful, a tooth extraction or a filling,” removing a tooth results in a longer period of discomfort compared to a filling procedure.

Can I be put to sleep for a cavity filling? ›

If you suffer from severe anxiety and don't feel you can make it through the process, some dentists offer sedation dentistry. This involves the use of medication to sedate you during the filling. Your dentist can advise you on whether you'll need this.

Do all fillings need drilling? ›

If you are scheduled for a cavity filling, your dental professional will need to remove the tooth's damaged area before starting the procedure. Generally, they would use a drill, which may be painful for some people.

Is it bad to have 8 fillings? ›

New research suggests that methyl mercury may cause damage even at low levels. "As toxicologists, we know that mercury is poison, but it all depends on the dose. So, if you have one dental filling, maybe it's OK. But if you have more than eight dental filings, the potential risk for adverse effect is higher," Yu said.

Is 8 fillings a lot? ›

In general, adults develop an average of three cavities during their lifetimes. This means that the average adult has three or four fillings in their mouth. Some patients end up with ten or more fillings depending on how well they care for their teeth.

What happens when a cavity is too big to fill? ›

However, if the cavity is too big for a filling, our dentists will recommend a porcelain crown to strengthen the tooth. Once a cavity reaches a certain size, our dentists won't be able to drill out the decayed tooth matter without compromising the structural integrity of your tooth.

Why am I suddenly getting so many cavities? ›

Cavities that develop quickly and unexpectedly may be the result of: Sudden Dietary Changes: You might have changed your diet in some way, including drinking more soda, adding more sugar to your coffee, eating more starchy or acidic foods, or consuming more sweets.

Why do I have cavities even though I brush? ›

Though good oral hygiene that includes brushing and flossing helps in preventing cavities, you may still get cavities. The reasons can be many, like the spaces between teeth that easily trap food, consuming too much cavity-causing foods and beverages, avoiding regular professional-level cleanings and checkups, etc.

How many cavities is normal in a lifetime? ›

Pretty much everyone gets a cavity or two in their lifetime, even with good dental hygiene. The average American adult has three fillings. But if you tend to get a lot of cavities, you may be wondering why. Are you more cavity-prone than other people?

Do dentists judge you for having a lot of cavities? ›

It's important to remember that dentists don't go into their profession to judge people; they go into it to help them. No matter what your oral health condition is, a good dentist will not make you feel bad about it.

Are cavity fillings stronger than teeth? ›

While dental filling material has improved over the last few decades, fillings are still softer than the enamel the surrounding tooth is composed of. This means they may not be able to survive the same forces of chewing and biting as the natural enamel.

Can a dentist drill a cavity too deep? ›

If a dentist drills too deep, he or she might cut through the bottom of the tooth. This can create an infection, swelling, and failure of the procedure. A failed root canal may lead to loss of the tooth, damage to the jaw bone, and gum issues.

What does a severe cavity look like? ›

What Does a Cavity Look Like? While it is usually difficult to see a cavity in its beginning stages, some cavities start with a whitish or chalky appearance on the enamel of your tooth. More serious cases can have a discolored brown or black color. However, most often there are no distinguishable red alerts.

How fast can a cavity destroy a tooth? ›

There's no specific timeline for how quickly a cavity can destroy a tooth. In most cases, severe damage to the tooth occurs because of years of unaddressed tooth decay. Fortunately, proper dental hygiene and regular dental checkups can save a tooth before it ever gets this bad.

Can I wait 2 weeks to fill a cavity? ›

Unfortunately, if treatment is delayed for too long, a small cavity can transform into a serious issue that will negatively affect your oral health. Our family dentists at MI Smiles Dental will all resoundingly tell you that it is not wise to wait extensive amounts of time to fill a cavity.

Do fillings hurt the next day? ›

After receiving a filling, it's not uncommon to experience sensitivity in that tooth and the surrounding areas. It may feel like a sudden sharp pain or a cold sensation, and this sensitivity can last a few days, maybe even a week.

Do cavities smell? ›

While various dental conditions can cause bad breath, one of the most common causes is a cavity. The bacteria growing and thriving in a tooth's crevice is also emitting waste that leads to a bad odor. This odor can get stronger and more pungent the longer you allow a cavity to grow.

How much does a cavity filling cost? ›

On average, the cost for a dental filling without insurance could run from $200 to $600. This is just an average estimate, and the price could be as low as $100 or as high as $4,000. The cost of a dental filling procedure varies based on several factors, including: Cavity size.

How painful is getting a cavity filled? ›

Do cavity fillings hurt? Here's the short answer: No. Most fillings cause little to no discomfort during any part of the procedure. This is a result of using highly effective numbing agents.

Is it painful to fill a cavity? ›

The number one question many people have before getting their first cavity filled is, “Does it hurt to get a cavity filled?” The good news is, getting a cavity filled is usually a painless procedure and can actually help to relieve discomfort.

Can you eat after a cavity filling? ›

A composite filling hardens immediately once a dentist puts a blue UV light on your tooth. You can generally eat when you leave your dental specialist's office. However, Rely Dental , BENBROOK recommends waiting for at least 2 hours before chewing on the filling if you're still numb.

Does getting a cavity filled hurt after? ›

Normal Pain

Soreness of your mouth is very common after having a cavity filled, especially around the area of the affected tooth. It is also common to experience jaw pain. This happens because you've had to hold your jaw open for an extended period of time while the dentist works their magic.

Do they put you to sleep to fill a cavity? ›

Cavity Filling: the Procedure

To help you avoid pain, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic, so named because it only numbs the area being treated and doesn't put you to sleep. Since you'll be fully awake during the procedure, you'll be able to interact with your dentist.

How do you prepare for a filling? ›

The Dental Filling Procedure

There's not too much you'll need to do to prepare for your appointment. Because the procedure is non-invasive, you don't need to fast. Also, go ahead and brush your teeth as you normally would. If you know you'll have anxiety, try to schedule your filling appointment for the morning hours.

Can I drink water after a filling? ›

Dentists generally advise patients not to eat or drink anything for the first hour after the filling is placed. A full 24 hours need to pass before the person attempts to eat hard foods. People who opt for composite fillings are often cleared to eat whatever they want right after the procedure.

Can you brush your teeth after a filling? ›

Don't hesitate to brush your teeth or floss after a filling.

Did you know that you don't have to wait to brush your teeth or floss after a dental filling? As long as you brush gently and floss carefully around the tooth, you should be able to keep the area clean as usual.

How long do fillings last? ›

On average, you can expect a metal filling to last for about 15 years before needing to be replaced, but the length of time can vary based on several factors, such as if you grind or clench your teeth. Tooth-colored fillings are made from a mixture of fine glass and plastic particles.

How long will my mouth be numb after a filling? ›

In most situations, the anesthesia your dentist uses will numb the tooth for 1 to 2 hours. Additionally, the following 3 to 5 hours may leave your lips, face, and tongue numb, which can be frustrating if you're attempting to return to normal activities immediately following your appointment.

What happens if a filling is too close to the nerve? ›

If the filling is too close to the nerve, it may get infected slowly. Dentists can't predict the time frame for the tooth to become infected. If infected, you may experience a throbbing pain or a dental abscess.

How many cavities is normal? ›

Pretty much everyone gets a cavity or two in their lifetime, even with good dental hygiene. The average American adult has three fillings. But if you tend to get a lot of cavities, you may be wondering why. Are you more cavity-prone than other people?


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