How long does it take to fill a cavity?

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Tooth cavity is the breakdown of teeth due to acids made by bacteria. The cavities may be a number of different colors from yellow to black. Symptoms may include pain and difficulty with eating. Complications may include inflammation of the tissue around the tooth, tooth loss, and infection or abscess formation.[1]

What to expect during the procedure?

The steps may vary, depending on the filling’s location and the materials used. But according to Medical News Today, the general steps are:[2]

  1. The dentist applies a numbing gel to the gums. Once this has taken effect, they inject a local anesthetic into the gum.
  2. Using a drill or another specialized tool, the dentist removes the decayed area of the tooth.
  3. They then fill the hole in the tooth.
  4. Lastly, they polish the filling and may adjust it so that the person’s bite feels normal.
  5. If they use a composite filling material, the dentist also needs to “cure,” or harden, it with a special light.

So how long does the filling procedure take? Filling a cavity is quite straightforward and in most cases, placing a dental filling is a relatively simple and painless procedure. The procedure typically takes anywhere from 10 minutes to one hour but, of course, that time will vary depending on the size and location of the cavity.

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