Your dentist just told you that you have a cavity and need to get it filled. If this is your first time getting a filling, you may not be sure what to expect. You might even be nervous that it will hurt. After all, a filling is a type of dental surgery.
If you just found out you need to get your first filling, don’t worry. We’ll explain what to expect every step of the way, including what — if any — discomfort you might experience.
Why You Need a Filling
Getting your tooth filled is a type of oral surgery that can help protect the tooth against any further decay. If left untreated, a cavity will get worse and could lead to increased discomfort in the affected tooth. It could even lead to bone loss. However, getting a filling can prevent that from happening.
Prepping for Surgery with Anesthesia
Before your dentist performs the filling, they will first numb the area around the affected tooth with local anesthesia. This is the part most patients dread, because it involves a needle. However, before the needle is inserted, a topical anesthetic is typically applied to the area about to be numbed. This helps minimize the discomfort you may feel once the actual needle is inserted.
So, while you likely feel the needle as the anesthesia is injected, it really shouldn’t feel like much more than a pin prick. Mildly annoying, yes, but most likely not painful.
The Filling Process
Once the area around the cavity is numb, your dentist will carefully remove any decayed dental tissue from the tooth. Next, they will clean out any remaining debris in the tooth and then place the filling. Once the filling is in place, your dentist will clean and polish your tooth and then that’s it – you’re done!
Recovering from a Tooth Filling
Your lips and the gum area will be numb for a few hours following your dental surgery. Be careful while eating and drinking, since you won’t have full sensation and might accidentally bite your lip instead of that slice of pizza.If you experience sensitivity, or feel pain in your tooth, let your dentist know right away.
So, while you can expect some mild discomfort and sensitivity when getting a filling, it is not normally a painful procedure and is not something to fear.
If you have any questions about fillings, think you need to have an old filling replaced, or would like to schedule a cleaning, call Pine Tree Dental Care at 207-781-4216 to schedule an appointment.