How Long Does a Tooth Filling Process Take?

How Long Does a Tooth Filling Process Take?

A tooth filling treatment is used to restore missing tooth structure and function caused by decay or trauma. Dental fillings can seal these gaps and prevent any further damage.

Everybody’s cavities are different. Therefore, this procedure can take anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour. The time will vary depending on the size, material used, the number of fillings, and location of the cavity.

Teeth Filling Procedure:

Fillings are generally a simple procedure. A typical filling procedure has the following steps:

  • First, your dentist will examine the cavity. Next, an X-ray of the tooth or teeth is taken to examine the extent of tooth decay.
  • A local anesthetic is administered to numb and prevent any pain.
  • The tooth enamel is drilled to remove the decay. Some dentists may use a laser or an air abrasion tool. 
  • The drilled tooth is sterilized and prepared for filling. The fillings are hardened or cured with blue wavelength light.
  • Finally, the tooth is polished to make sure that your bite is correct.
  • Your tooth may feel a little sore or sensitive but should feel no pain. 
  • Consume very hot or cold foods and drinks cautiously for a day or two, but otherwise, you can eat normally.

Options in Tooth Fillings Materials:

  • Composite Resins, Or Tooth-Colored Fillings: 

These are used mostly due to cosmetic reasons. These fillings blend in and appear natural. Composite fillings, also known as white, plastic, or tooth-colored fillings, consist of powdered glass and acrylic resin to fill in cavities. These usually last 5 to 15 years because they are durable and fracture-resistant

These fillings are usually light-cured and take about 2 to 20 seconds per layer to set.

  • Glass Ionomer Fillings:

These are also tooth-colored but not as strong as composites. They are made of acrylic and a type of glass that contains fluoride, which can help prevent cavities. They are often used for children’s teeth and are more expensive than amalgams.

These filings are also light-cured. They take about 2 to 20 seconds per layer to set.

  • Gold Or Porcelain Fillings- Inlays Or Onlays :

This filling is a mix of gold, copper, and other metals and is very durable but more expensive. Gold fillings last for 15 to 20 years but do not look entirely natural. With the aid of the dentist’s blue wavelength light, porcelain fillings can set immediately. These cost as much as gold fillings and look natural. 

  • Silver-Colored Amalgam Filling:

These use a combination of metals like silver, mercury, tin, and copper. They also use small amounts of zinc, indium, or palladium sometimes. They are comparatively cheaper and set weakly in an hour. Their full strength setting completes in about 24 hours. These last between 5 to 25 years.

Replacing Older Fillings

Replacing older fillings takes around the same time as the original filling. It takes longer if the old filling material needs to be drilled out. After the cavity and the old filling material are cleaned out, the new filling material is inserted.

Campus Town Dental in Ames, Iowa, offers quality comprehensive dental care services, treating patients of all ages with the utmost level of care. Our team will assist and guide patients in every possible manner about the pros and cons of the filling materials.


Campustown Dental

Campustown Dental, located in Ames, Iowa is a family dental care center committed to restoring and enhancing the healthy smile of you and your family. Our highly skilled dental team is dedicated to delivering the most comprehensive and affordable dental care accessible in the most comfortable surroundings.

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