When a patient realizes that they may need a dental filling, they may become curious about what the treatment entails. For instance, most people want to get their treatment done as quickly as possible. So, they wonder if it's possible to have multiple fillings done in just one appointment. If you believe you might need a filling, and you are new to this procedure, then the following questions — and answers — will help you to better understand dental fillings.
1. How Many Fillings Can Be Placed in One Visit?
One simple filling takes about 30 minutes to complete. And you can have multiple fillings done in one visit. The only limitation is your ability to hold your jaw open. While some patients can keep their mouths open comfortably to have multiple fillings placed, other patients may struggle.
2. Can the Same Tooth Be Filled Over and Over?
A single tooth can have multiple fillings replaced over the years. But with each new filling, the hole becomes larger because a small amount of tooth structure is removed with each replacement. Eventually, after a large filling needs replacing, there won't be enough supporting tooth structure for a new filling. Then, you'll need a crown instead.
3. Can You Eat Right After a Filling?
If you opt for a silver or amalgam filling, you'll need to wait 24 hours for the filling to fully set before you chew on it. But you can eat on a composite filling right after placement, as dentists use a special light to set composite fillings after placement.
4. Do Fillings Hurt?
During the treatment, your tooth is anesthetized, so you won't feel any pain. But some patients do feel some sensitivity in the filled tooth for a few days after their treatment. This sensitivity usually subsides once the tooth adapts to its new conditions.
5. How Long Do Fillings Last?
A silver filling lasts slightly longer than a composite filling, at about 12 years on average. And composite or white fillings last about 8-10 years on average. Bear in mind too that because you place more pressure on your back teeth while chewing, amalgam fillings are best for these teeth and will be able to take the chewing pressure better.
Fillings are the simplest way to treat a dental cavity. If you need one or more, then be sure to get them done soon. Fillings stop decay in their tracks and protect your teeth from further damage. Contact a dentist for more information .