FAQs About Having Your First Cavity Filled

If you manage to make it into adulthood before getting your first cavity, you're generally doing pretty well from a dental health perspective. But learning that you do have your first cavity can still be a little jarring, especially when you realize you need to have that cavity filled. You might find that you have some questions about that process and the aftermath. With any luck, you'll discover the answers below.

Does having a cavity filled hurt?

If your dentist were to just start drilling into your tooth to remove the decayed tooth material, it would absolutely hurt. But luckily, that's not what dentists do. First, they give you a shot of local anesthetic directly into your gums, near the tooth to be filled. This shot might sting a little, but it's not overly painful. When the anesthetic kicks in, your dentist can start drilling, and you won't feel a thing other than some vibrations.

What will the dentist use to fill your tooth?

These days, most fillings are made from composite resin, which is basically a very strong, tooth-colored plastic. However, some dentists do still use metal filling, particularly on the back teeth where the filling won't be visible. Metal fillings are often less expensive, so talk to your dentist about them if you're on a tight budget and need a filling in a back molar.

Will you be able to eat like normal after getting a filling?

As soon as the local anesthetic wears off, you can go back to eating your normal diet and drinking the beverages you typically enjoy. However, you might have a little tooth sensitivity when you eat hot or cold items. This is just because the filling process has irritated your tooth nerves. The sensitivity should go away on its own within a few days. Let your dentist know if it does not.

How long will your filling last?

The typical dental filling lasts around 10 years. If you take good care of your teeth and get regular, professional cleanings, yours will potentially last even longer.  Some people never lose their fillings and keep them for a lifetime. If and when your filling does fall out, your dentist can simply replace it with a new one.

With these questions answered, you should be better equipped to have your cavity filled at the dentist's. Talk to a local dental clinic, such as Dentologie, to learn more.