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How Long Does a Filling Take?

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Close-up of a person's molar tooth showing before and after a filling

Dental fillings help repair teeth, significantly improving their look and function. While fillings have traditionally required noisy drills that patients sometimes find uncomfortable and time-consuming, modern technology has revolutionized the process.

Thanks to innovative advancements like Solea laser technology, you can get a dental filling and be in and out of your dentist’s office in minutes.

What Are Dental Fillings?

When you visit your dentist for a routine oral assessment and dental hygiene visit, they will generally look for signs of active tooth decay. A cavity is a small hole that forms on your tooth’s surface caused by plaque that can eat away at your enamel (the outer layer of your tooth).

Signs of a cavity can include the following: 

  • Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
  • Sensitivity to sugary foods and drinks
  • Persistent toothache
  • A hole or pit in a tooth
  • A tooth stain (white or dark in colour)

Depending on the size of your cavity, your dentist may recommend filling it with a tooth-coloured material. Dental fillings are among the most common restorative dental services to repair teeth. 

A female patient wearing safety glasses and opening her mouth as a dentist cures one of her teeth with a blue light

The Traditional Filling Process

Traditionally, getting a dental filling can be quite a process. From settling into the chair to when the drill whirs to life, the whole experience can take some time. 

The steps of a typical filling procedure include:

  1. Preparation and anesthesia: This is essential to make the process as comfortable and pain-free as possible. 
  2. Tooth decay removal: Once the anesthesia takes effect, the dentist uses a dental drill to remove the decayed part of the tooth.
  3. Filling placement: After removing the decay, your dentist places the filling material, usually amalgam or white filling, into the prepared tooth. 
  4. Polish and finishing: Finishing touches include matching the filling to the natural contours of your tooth and testing your bite.

The traditional filling procedure can take 20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the complexity and if you need 1 or multiple cavities filled. However, advancements in dental technology have drastically cut down this time, often making the process quicker, more efficient, and more comfortable.

Dental Fillings with the Solea Laser

The procedure for dental fillings with the Solea laser may include the following steps:

  1. Assessment and preparation: Your dentist will first examine the tooth and determine if a filling is necessary. If it is, they’ll prepare the tooth by removing any decayed material.
  2. Laser application: Your dentist will use the laser to gently remove the decayed material, preserving more of the healthy tooth structure. The precision of the laser can target only the damaged part, leaving surrounding areas untouched.
  3. Filling placement: After the tooth is ready, they will place the filling material using the same techniques as a traditional procedure.
  4. Quick polishing: Polishing and finishing touches are usually relatively quick and include checking that the filling is comfortable and blends seamlessly with your natural tooth.

Advantages of the Solea Dental Laser

The Solea dental laser can help manage dental anxiety in patients and make the filling process more comfortable. The Solea laser can be advantageous over traditional dental filling procedures for a few reasons:

  • Anesthesia: One of the remarkable features of Solea is its ability to perform many procedures without anesthesia or sedation. Its precision laser technology minimizes discomfort, and in many cases, patients don’t require numbing.
  • Faster: With the Solea laser, the time spent in the dentist’s chair is often significantly reduced. You can get dental fillings much quicker thanks to the efficiency of the laser and the reduced need for anesthesia.
  • Minimal healing time: Traditional fillings might leave you with a numb mouth and a lingering ache, but with the Solea laser, patients tend to experience quicker healing and less post-procedure discomfort.

How to Care for Your Fillings

Fillings might not last forever, but there are things you can do to maintain their durability, including:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily
  • Floss daily
  • Visit your dentist for regular exams and cleanings
  • Wear a mouth guard if you clench or grind your teeth

Drill-Free & Needle-Free Fillings

Gone are the days of dreading dental fillings due to the time-consuming, noisy, and uncomfortable procedures. With Solea laser technology, the process has become quicker, more precise, and more comfortable for many. 

If you or your child has been putting off a dental procedure due to dental anxiety, contact Hometown Dental to learn more about Solea dental laser for dental fillings and other dental procedures.  

Written by Dr. JJ

Meet the leader of the Hometown Dental team — Dr. JJ!

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