Dental fillings can restore your tooth to its full functionality but because many begin with decay and may be preceded by pain, the question that many patients want answered is “do dental fillings hurt”. The good news is that a well done filling should seal off tooth nerves and that you should not feel any pain afterwards.


Why Do We Need Fillings?

Fillings or restorations are used to reconstruct and build up tooth surface area that has worn away. There are several different types of filling material that can be used, each with its own pros, cons and cost implications. Examples of different materials or substances that can be used to fill teeth include amalgam (a combination of metals), ceramic, composite resin, silver and gold.

The most common reason for needing fillings is tooth decay. Sometimes it is possible for the decay to happen very close to the tooth nerve, and sometimes it is exposed, which can cause a great deal of pain. For this reason many patients associate dental fillings with pain.


What Can You Expect When You Need Tooth Fillings?

patient with dentist after tooth fillingMost tooth fillings are performed under anaesthetic so that you do not feel any discomfort. Your dentist will apply a numbing agent topically, and then inject local anaesthetic into the area for your comfort. In order to prepare your tooth, your dentist will need to remove all the decayed material using a dental drill, and this will leave a cavity behind. Your dentist will then fill the cavity with your choice of filling material to prevent reinfection and to ensure your tooth works, looks and feels like it did before. Some filling materials (like composite resin) will have a blue light shone on them in order to make the substance harden faster.


How Long Will Your Dental Filling Take?

Most fillings take around 15 to 20 minutes to complete, depending on their complexity.


Will Your Tooth Be Painful After Your Filling?

It is normal to experience some degree of tooth sensitivity after a filling but generally speaking you can expect to feel better afterwards. You may find your tooth is a little more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures but you should not expect any pain.


How Long Do Tooth Fillings Last For?

The lifespan you get from your dental filling will depend on the substance used. Gold fillings, while they are the most expensive, tend to last the longest, averaging up to 20 years. Amalgam fillings can last up to 15 years and porcelain and composite resin fillings last for five to eight years on average.


Are Dental Fillings Painful?

Fillings are used to restore teeth to their form and function and any pain you may have experienced should no longer be noticeable once your filling is done. Some sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures may occur in the weeks following your procedure.


Still wondering do dental fillings hurt? Don’t allow the prospect of discomfort to delay treatment. Contact us for an appointment to prevent further decay: (02) 8073 9218.

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