Dental Filling

Do Dental Fillings Hurt? What to Expect When Getting a Cavity Filled


Last Modified: June 26, 2024


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“Will it hurt?” is the first thought that pops into someone’s mind once they’ve been informed they need a filling. Getting a filling improves the health and comfort of your mouth. It doesn’t tend to make them worse. Fortunately, most dental fillings are quite comfortable. Let’s examine what to anticipate from the procedure.

Before the Procedure
The first step involves numbing the surrounding tissue of your tooth. It aims to make you comfortable and reduce procedural anxiety. Usually, they will inject a local anesthetic after applying numbing lotion to your gums. Even while there is only a momentary pinch or sting, the mere thought of a needle may cause anxiety in some.
In many cases, the dentist may proceed even without the use of local anesthesia, if the cavity isn’t approximating pulpal tissue.

During the Filling
Once you’re numb, you shouldn’t feel any pain. You might feel some pressure or vibration from the drill. Many patients complain that the sound of the drill makes them anxious. If you feel so too, consider bringing headphones to listen to your happy music, it may help you calm yourself.
The filling process itself is typically quick, often taking just 20 to 30 minutes for a simple cavity. Deeper or multiple cavities may take longer.

After the Procedure
As the anesthetic wears off, you might start to experience some sensitivity or mild discomfort. This is normal and usually subsides within a few hours. Your tooth may feel sensitive to hot or cold temperatures for a short time.

Factors That Can Affect Pain
Several factors can influence how much discomfort you might feel:

  • Cavity size and depth: Deeper cavities closer to the nerve may cause more sensitivity.
  • Location of the cavity: Root cavities can be more sensitive.
  • Number of cavities being filled: Multiple fillings in one sitting may cause more jaw discomfort from keeping your mouth open.

Preventing Discomfort
To minimize potential pain:

  • Don’t wait to get cavities filled. Initial cavities are easier to treat with a minimal invasive approach.
  • Communicate with your dentist if you’re feeling anxious or uncomfortable.
  • Follow post-procedure care instructions carefully.

Always remember that filling eventually aims to prevent further decay and pain. While you might experience some minor discomfort, it’s a small price to pay for a healthy smile.
If you’re still worried about pain, talk to your dentist. Reach out to your nearest Clove Dental. Our experts can help you understand and visualize the procedure in more detail and discuss options to make you more comfortable.

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