How Long Does It Take To Fill A Cavity?

We all know how painful cavities can be when left untreated.

This is when plaque can accumulate around the gums, leading to bacteria that will produce acids that will wear down your teeth over time.

You might have gone to the dentist about this and they will have advised you to have these cavities filled, especially if they are causing your pain.

How Long Does It Take To Fill A Cavity?

However, a lot of people get nervous about visiting the dentist and you might be concerned as to how long this procedure lasts.

What does having a cavity filled actually involve? How long can you be expected to sit in that dentist’s chair? Is it a painful procedure?

How long does it take for children to have their cavities filled? Well, if you want the answer to these questions, then we suggest that you keep reading.

Why Do You Need A Cavity Filled?

Cavities can be very painful, which is the main reason that dentists choose to have them filled.

They can also lead to further tooth decay and gum disease if they are not treated adequately over time.

If you have gum disease, then this could lead to further pain and a lot of problems.

This can also save the tooth from being pulled, which can often cause other teeth to migrate.

This could lead to other teeth becoming misaligned and causing you further pain and treatment.

How Long Does It Take To Fill A Cavity?

On average, a filling will take around an hour to complete. If the filling is simple and uncomplicated, then it could only take around 20 minutes to complete.

If you are going to have more than one filling or the cavity is very large, then it might take you a little longer to complete.

You will probably need an injection to numb the pain of the filling. The effects of this can last you a few hours.

If you need more than one filling, then you might have to go back to the dentist’s office a few times.

What Is The Procedure For A Filling?

You will generally have some anaesthetic pumped into the gum, which will help to numb the pain, however you will feel a drilling sensation, but this should not be painful.

People can often feel sensitivity to such an invasive procedure, so numbing this area of the gum might be essential.

The decay that is creating the cavity is then removed, usually with a drill. Once this has been excavated properly, then the filling can be applied.

There are many different types of filling material that can be applied to your tooth.

Once the filling has been completely set, then the dentist will need to polish and file it. This is so that it is in accordance with the natural shape of the tooth.

What Materials Are Used In A Filling?

There can be many things used in your tooth filling.

There is a composite resin material that will usually set very quickly, using a UV light, making your whole dentist visit last no longer than an hour.

If you want to go with the most expensive option, then you can choose to get a gold or porcelain filling.

This will need to be done in two visits as it requires laboratory work. Amalgam is often used for NHS dentistry, these are silver fillings.

If you have already had a filling and are having it replaced, then you’ll need to have the original filling drilled out first.

If your dentist is good, then they will clean out the cavity from the old filling first.

How Can You Stop Cavities From Occurring?

Having decent oral hygiene is the key to making sure that no bacteria build up in between your teeth.

We would recommend that you brush your teeth and floss regularly.

This will prevent the plaque from forming and the bacteria from spreading the acid which will ultimately cause a cavity to occur.

You should also make sure that you take trips to the dentist for regular check-ups. We would suggest that you go around twice per year to rule out any issues.

If you leave your cavity untreated, then this can lead to some more serious issues down the line that will not only be painful but could be very costly.

How Long Does It Take To Fill A Child’s Cavity?

It might not seem obvious, but even with a good diet and oral health, young children might still get cavities.

Luckily, cavities for a child will take just as long as for an adult, although there will be some more special requirements for a child.

If a child is below the age of 6, then they might need an anaesthetic to stop the pain.

This will be important so that the dentist can do their job and won’t cause further problems. This will also add to the overall time of your child’s dental procedure.

You should make sure that you have a dentist that will accommodate your child’s particular needs, as it will be very important to keep them comfortable.

A lot of children have trauma when it comes to visiting the dentist, and you won’t want to upset them anymore.


We hope that our guide to cavities has helped put your mind at ease if you are going to have a cavity.

If you want to avoid cavities in the future, then we would certainly recommend that you brush regularly and make time to visit your dentist.

Andrew Kemp
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