While cavities are 100% preventable, most adults have had at least one cavity by their early 20’s. A dental filling is a painless procedure that restores a decayed tooth, by removing decayed tissue and refilling the cavity with a tooth-colored material. The process of filling a cavity is virtually painless, and there is a short recovery time that allows patients to eat, speak and resume normal activity very promptly post-procedure.
Cavity fillings are one of the most common and most important dental procedures. Although a cavity may not always produce pain or sensation, many patients will feel pain or sensitivity that indicates a cavity that will need to be filled.
The dentist will diagnose a cavity through a number of touchpoints throughout a dental exam; upon visual inspection, oral examination and through analysis of x-rays. Cavities range in size- and can be small and invisible to the untrained eye or so large that they are noticeable upon visual exam. Most insurance plans will cover at least a portion of the cost of filling a cavity and our Exclusive Sonrisa Dental Savings Plan can help those without insurance save up to 60% on a range of dental services.
The dentist begins the process of filling a cavity by removing decayed material from the cavity, restores the tooth with a composite material and seals the cavity to prevent liquid or particles from penetrating the hole.
The dentist removes decayed matter using a precise drill, then shapes the space and fills it with a replacement tooth-colored composite material. A topical anesthetic is used to numb the area, so that the patient will not feel the procedure.
The process of filling a cavity takes only 20-30 minutes, excluding time for exam, x-rays and any additional services a patient requires. A filled tooth will look and function like any other tooth, and any sensitivity from a filling should subside once the anesthetic wears off. It is sometimes necessary to reshape a filling at a follow up appointment, to restore proper alignment of a patient’s bite.
It isn’t recommended to delay on a filling a cavity. Since a cavity is a hole in the tooth, forgoing a filling can cause the cavity to deepen so much so that or a root canal, crown or tooth extraction is needed to restore the tooth.
Moreover, leaving a cavity untreated puts the tooth at risk of infection, since bacteria and particles can get trapped within the cavity. As tooth decay worsens, it is common to feel pain or sensitivity as the nerves at the center of the tooth become exposed, and a patient becomes at-risk for developing an abscess tooth.
We provide high-quality dental care in state-of-the-art facilities, which feature a modern look, coffee bar, and special play and treatment rooms for kids.
Our doctors and dental team provide a thorough professional exam, every time, taking special care to: