Even though cavities are 100% preventable, they remain a common dental issue. Most people have at least one cavity by their early 20s, and many of them require dental fillings. The process is relatively simple and painless, but it helps to know what to expect if you need to get a dental filling.
Not only are dental cavity fillings some of the most common dental procedures, but they are also some of the most important. Even if a cavity doesn’t cause constant pain or sensitivity, it can be problematic with certain foods or drinks. Plus, if you avoid having a cavity filled, it can cause more problems for your teeth.
Your dentist can diagnose a cavity and determine the need for a dental filling through a dental exam. Between the visual inspection and x-rays, your dentist can determine the best course of action. If your dentist recommends cavity filling, they will explain your options for treatment.
When you go to the dentist for a cavity filling, they clean out all of the decayed material with a precision drill. Then, your dentist inserts the dental filling material and seals the cavity to protect the rest of your tooth. The tooth may require some shaping and shaving to make sure it doesn’t disrupt your bite.
No, the dentist uses an oral anesthetic to numb the area so that you don’t feel pain. There may be some discomfort and sensitivity for a day or two after the dental filling, but it should be manageable with over-the-counter pain medication.
Typically, the local anesthesia should only last for an hour or two. Some people experience numbness for up to three or four hours. Until the numbness wears off, you may have trouble chewing, speaking, and smiling.
You should have minimal discomfort after a tooth cavity filling, and it should only last for a day or two. However, you may experience some sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages for slightly longer.
It depends on the type of filling you get. Amalgam and metal fillings last the longest, up to twenty years, while other materials may only last five to ten years. Of course, if you happen to lose a filling unexpectedly, contact your dentist to have the tooth repaired as soon as possible.
On average, a dental filling costs between $100 and $400 depending on the type of filing and the tooth involved. If you have dental insurance, it’s likely that some or all of the cost of your dental fillings will be covered.
If you don’t have dental insurance, it may be tempting to put off a dental filling to save money, but waiting could cost you more in the long run. If you leave a cavity untreated, it can grow and lead to more costly procedures, like a root canal.
We offer a few options to make dental fillings affordable, even if you don’t have dental insurance. Ask about your flexible payment plans or join our Dental Savings Plan.
At Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics, we believe in delivering high-quality dental care for patients of all ages. Our offices are all modern with state-of-the-art equipment, including a coffee bar. Kids can feel more comfortable in our special play areas and kid-friendly treatment rooms.
You can expect thorough, professional exams at every visit because our teams take extra care to deliver comfortable, hassle-free experiences. Our dental teams will answer all of your questions thoroughly and teach you how to keep your mouth healthy. We can even help you with dental emergencies and explain everything in the language of your choice.