At Available Dental Care, we frequently encounter patients who ask, ‘do dental fillings hurt?’ So, let’s look at what the procedure entails, the discomfort considered within acceptable limits, and when to contact your dentist.  


Understanding Your Oral Discomfort 

A cavity is a common reason for oral discomfort, but pain perception and fear of dental surgery may delay anxious patients’ treatment. Having your cavities treated with tooth fillings restores your tooth and relieves your discomfort. Dental fillings only require one appointment.  


What Causes Cavities? 

Tooth decay begins when plaque forms on the tooth’s surface. Plaque contains acids that attack the minerals in your tooth’s enamel forming tiny holes. These holes create space for bacteria to reach deeper into the tooth, reaching your dental pulp, causing an infection. If a cavity remains untreated, it can result in the need for a root canal treatment or even extraction of the infected tooth. That’s why it’s important to get your cavity treated as soon as possible.   


Do Dental Fillings Hurt? What to Expect at Your Appointment

Modern dentistry and sedation techniques have eased the discomfort associated with dental fillings. Tooth fillings are a common dental treatment, and your dentist administers a local anaesthetic by injection to the site before performing the procedure. They may also apply a numbing gel to the area where they are going to apply the anaesthetic, so you don’t feel the injection.  

Only the tooth and gum tissue in that area will lose sensation. While you might feel some pressure or be aware that your dentist is working on your tooth, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort. 

For children and nervous patients, we can administer nitrous oxide to help reduce anxiety. You will be in a relaxed state, but be able to respond to your dentist’s instructions.  

Your dentist removes the decay using a drill and fills the holes. At Available Dental Care, we offer different filling materials to restore your tooth. The material used depends on the tooth’s location in your mouth and how much restoration the tooth needs. The most common materials for dental fillings are amalgam and composite resin. 

Dental patient
  • Amalgam Tooth Fillings

Dental amalgam, also known as silver dental fillings, is durable because it combines metals such as silver, mercury, copper, and tin. Dentists recommend amalgam tooth fillings for large cavities and the molars where the chewing force is stronger. Amalgam tooth fillings are the most affordable option but are more visible.  


  • Composite Resin Tooth Fillings

Tooth-coloured composite resin dental fillings are natural-looking because they are a combination of quartz or glass filler. They are ideal for small to mid-sized cavities, especially towards the front of the mouth. Composite resin is applied in layers, and each layer is cured with a special UV light to ensure its durability. Composite resin can also be used to repair chipped teeth, mask small gaps between teeth, and add length to short teeth.  

After filling your tooth, your dentist files the filling and checks your bite using articulating paper.  


Sensitivity After a Tooth Filling   

Each tooth is a complicated system of nerves, blood vessels, and protective outer layers. It is normal to experience a little sensitivity once the anaesthesia wears off, especially if your filling was deep and required a lot of work. Your mouth also may feel achy from staying open for a long time, or you may be a little sore at the injection site. But what are some other reasons for your tooth sensitivity, and should you be concerned? 


  • Pain When You Bite

If your dental fillings are interfering with your bite, you may experience some pressure because the filling is uneven with the opposite tooth. This is common and requires an appointment with your dentist to have the tooth filling reshaped, so it fits more naturally with the opposing tooth. 


  • Pulpitis

Your tooth may be traumatised during a deep filling, and your dental pulp was agitated leading to inflammation. This response can lead to increased hot and cold sensitivity, discomfort when biting and chewing, and a dull toothache that comes and goes. Pulpitis typically resolves within a few days to a couple of weeks, but contact your dentist if the discomfort is long-lasting because you may need a root canal.   


How Long Will the Discomfort Last? 

In most cases, discomfort after tooth fillings dissipates within a few days or weeks. However, it depends on the health of your teeth and the reason you are experiencing the discomfort. 

If the pain persists for more than a week, contact your dentist to discuss your symptoms, as you may have an infection. 

You can manage any discomfort immediately after treatment by applying an ice pack to the side of your face or taking over-the-counter pain-relieving medication.   


Restore Your Smile at Available Dental Care

Eliminate cavities and restore your oral health with an appointment for dental fillings at Available Dental Care. We use the latest technology and state-of-the-art materials to give you a long-lasting, natural-looking tooth restoration. If you are wondering, ‘do dental fillings hurt?’, we offer inhalation sedation to minimise any discomfort and take care to perform our tooth fillings as gently as possible.

Call us at (02) 4062 8763 today. 

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