How Long Does it Take to Fill a Cavity – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: About 1 hour

Everyone usually wants to maintain their complete set of teeth, but more often than not, most people do not manage this. This is due to numerous factors that later come along that consequently result in a tooth cavity.

A cavity is a damaged part on the surface of your tooth that finally emerges into tiny openings or holes.

Many factors cause a cavity, and these include improper cleaning of your teeth, eating and drinking of sugary stuff as well as having a bacterial infection in your mouth.

How long does it take to fill a cavity?

Cavity TypeTime
Root decayApproximately 1 hour 
Pit and fissure decay10 to 15 minutes 
Smooth surface decayAbout 5 minutes 

The filling of the cavity takes little to complete. Because the process is scary, it appears to typically a lot longer duration, but it only takes you at most an hour in the dentist’s office.

Therefore, one hour is enough for your dentist to go through the whole procedure of complete filing the dental cavity. Below are the steps followed by the dentist to complete the filing of the cavity.

  1. Identify where the treatment will be done – This enables your dentist to administer a local anesthetic drug into your gums through an injection, thereby ensuring you feel no during the entire process. Furthermore, it enhances numbness in your mouth, and once it is achieved, your doctor can then prepare to start the whole process.
  2. Dental laser – This is a tool used in your mouth to complete the whole process successfully. The dentist uses this tool to remove decayed tissue components from your tooth in preparation for filling.
  3. Application of the filling materials – The dentist applies a filling material carefully to the affected area. Once this is in place there, the dentist uses a bright light to shine on the material to harden it. Subsequently, when the process is finalized, your dentist polishes the filling to smoothen and make it feel like any other teeth in your mouth.
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Why does cavity filling take this long?

The time it takes to fill the cavity is usually dependent on several factors. Some of these factors are;

  1. Type of filling – There are different types of teeth filling, and this includes silver amalgam fillings, which are usually durable, less costly, and sturdy. Likewise, there are ceramic fillings which are more expensive than others.
  2. The dentist’s experience – The duration your dentist takes depends on his experience as well as professionalism. An experienced dentist does not only finish on time but also offer you the best services. Therefore, your choice of a dentist plays a crucial role in how long the dentist will manage to fill your cavity.
  3. The amount of decay – If your tooth is decayed so much, then it can take a long time for a dentist to fill the cavity. Additionally, the number of surfaces affected also does matter, but the right dentist will be able to fix all this on time.
  4. Accessibility – Dentists usually experience difficulty in accessing certain areas of your mouth, and this can affect how long it takes to complete tooth filling. This is especially the case when dealing with premolars and molars, with premolars easier to access compared to molars.

Conclusion

From the above information, you can know how long it takes to fill a cavity and why the procedure takes that long. Moreover, you are also in a better position to know the approximate duration the whole process will take.

References

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2015/701262/abs/

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