Your oral health is directly linked to your overall physical health, which is why addressing dental problems as soon as they occur, is so important. If you notice changes in your mouth like sudden sensitivity, soreness, or visible staining on the surface of your teeth, it’s time to visit the dentist to check if you have a cavity.
There’s no reason to be hesitant about visiting the dentist for tooth fillings, despite the fear that strikes many people when they think about receiving a local anaesthetic. Dental fillings are a safe, effective way to prevent further tooth decay and keep your teeth looking their best.
The Benefits of Dental Fillings
There are two kinds of tooth fillings that dentists traditionally use: amalgam and composite fillings. At Advanced Dental Care in Dubbo, we use white composite fillings. These offer several benefits, including:
- Blending in with your smile.
- Minimally invasive treatment because of less drilling.
- Suitable for the front and back of your teeth.
- They typically last 5-10 years.
Tooth fillings protect the tooth from further decay. After removing and cleaning away the decayed tissue, the composite resin prevents the bacteria from the cavity from doing any more damage to the tooth. Dental fillings also prevent bacteria from entering your tooth through cracks or imperfections on the surface of the teeth.
If you leave a cavity unfilled, the decay will progress and can sometimes lead to abscesses on the gums, requiring more serious attention. A deteriorating tooth is also not as strong and is more likely to break or crack under pressure. Getting a composite filling strengthens the tooth so it can perform as well as it did before the cavity.
There are plenty of reasons to move forward with tooth fillings if your dentist recommends them. But some people are left wondering, do dental fillings hurt?
Do Dental Fillings Hurt?
Once you have a cavity, a filling is essential to prevent more serious oral health issues. But do dental fillings hurt? Many people suffer from dental anxiety around dental fillings that can prevent them from seeking treatment. However, tooth fillings are a common and simple procedure.
During an appointment to fill a cavity, you may experience mild discomfort when your dentist uses a needle to inject a local anaesthetic into your gums at the site where you require a composite filling.
After this initial pinch, the area will become numb, and you might experience a tingling sensation. While your dentist performs the tooth fillings, you won’t be able to feel anything that’s being done inside your mouth. The sound of the drill on your teeth can be unpleasant, it’s just a noise, and it won’t hurt you, though you may feel some mild pressure.
Following an appointment for composite dental fillings, it’s completely normal to experience mild sensitivity to hot and cold foods for a couple of days. This sensation will subside after your tooth adapts to the filling.
When Might Tooth Fillings Hurt?
While most of the time, a local anaesthetic prevents you from feeling any real discomfort during a dental filling procedure, there are some scenarios where tooth fillings may cause discomfort once the anaesthetic wears off. The size and depth of the cavity, along with its location, determine whether you will feel any soreness, but this discomfort soon subsides.
Root cavities, which form near the tooth’s root, are more uncomfortable to have filled than smooth surface or pit and fissure cavities. The interior of your tooth, beneath the enamel and dentin layers, contains cementum, a soft material that coats the root.
Cavities in this part of the tooth are closer to the gum line, and filling them means your dentist is working closer to your nerve endings. The same is true of extremely large or deep surface cavities that require your dentist to drill deeper to remove the decay before proceeding with the dental fillings.
If you have multiple cavities that need to be filled at one time, the length of the procedure can also make your jaw sore from being held open for so long.
Book With Advanced Dental Care
If you’re experiencing any oral discomfort, sudden sensitivity to hot or cold foods, or if you can visibly see discolouration on the surface of your teeth, you may need dental fillings.
At Advanced Dental Care, we can help you maintain your oral health with regular checkups and advice from our team of dentists. To book an appointment regarding an oral health concern or arrange your dental hygiene cleaning and exam, contact us today on (02) 6188 7103.
To keep up-to-date with your hygiene cleanings and prevent tooth decay, we recommend visiting the dentist every six months.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.