Fillings are a common dental procedure used to restore damaged teeth. Whether you’ve chipped a tooth, have a cavity, or need to replace an old filling, the time it takes to complete the procedure can vary depending on the type of filling and the complexity of the repair. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of fillings and how long the procedure typically takes.
Types of Fillings
There are several types of fillings available, each with their own unique benefits. The most common types of fillings are amalgam, composite, and gold.
Amalgam fillings are made of a combination of metals, including silver, copper, tin, and mercury. They’re the most durable type of filling and are ideal for repairing large cavities or for restoring a broken tooth. Amalgam fillings typically take the longest to complete because the dentist must shape the filling material before placing it in the tooth. The procedure usually takes around an hour or more.
Composite fillings are made of a mixture of plastic and glass particles. They’re popular because they can be matched to the color of your teeth and blend in with your natural smile. Composite fillings are usually used for small cavities or to repair a chipped tooth. The procedure typically takes around 30 minutes to an hour.
Gold fillings are made of a mixture of gold, copper, and other metals. They’re the most expensive type of filling, but they’re also the most durable. Gold fillings are ideal for repairing large cavities or for restoring a broken tooth. The procedure usually takes around an hour or more.
Preparing for the Procedure
Before a filling can be placed, the dentist must first prepare the tooth. This includes removing the damaged portion of the tooth and cleaning the area. The dentist may also use a local anesthetic to numb the area. Depending on the size and location of the cavity, this step can take anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour.
Placing the Filling
Once the tooth is prepared, the dentist will place the filling material into the cavity. This step usually takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of filling and the complexity of the repair.
Caring for Your Filling
Once the filling is placed, the dentist will give you instructions on how to care for it. This includes brushing and flossing regularly, avoiding hard or sticky foods, and visiting the dentist regularly for checkups. Following these instructions will help ensure that your filling lasts for many years.
How Long Do Fillings Take?
The amount of time it takes to complete a filling procedure can vary depending on the type of filling and the complexity of the repair. Generally, the procedure takes between 30 minutes and an hour. Amalgam fillings typically take the longest, while composite fillings are usually the quickest.
No matter the type of filling you need, it’s important to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and preventive care. Regular visits can help detect problems early and prevent more serious issues from developing. If you’re in need of a filling, your dentist can help you decide which type is best for you.
Fillings are a common and effective way to restore damaged teeth. With the right care, your fillings can last for many years. If you’re in need of a filling, it’s important to understand the different types of fillings available and how long the procedure typically takes. Knowing this information can help you make an informed decision about your dental care.