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Tooth Decay Treatment: Do Dental Fillings Hurt?

dental exam roomA dental filling is a treatment for cavities or tooth decay. The question do dental fillings hurt and the fear of pain that one may experience during the treatment is the reason many people avoid treating their cavities. However, you should know that if a cavity is left untreated, it will get deeper and damage the nerve which can cause serious and severe pain. Your dentist will help you manage the pain effectively.

Dental fillings will not hurt if the pain is managed by anaesthetics, and it depends on many factors, including the number of cavities you have to treat, the location of the cavities.

In this article, you’ll understand why you need to get a dental filling and get an answer to your question about if a dental filling hurts. You’ll also know what may cause pain during dental filling, and how long you can expect pain from dental filling to last, after the procedure.

Why Would You Need dental Filling?

A dental filling is a procedure that treats tooth cavities and decay. It involves cleaning the decayed enamel and filling the site to stop the spread of decay, and eliminate the pain that comes with it. It is usually the most common treatment for tooth cavities, and the earlier you treat it, the better.

The gradual demineralization of the tooth causes the tooth cavity. It is characterized by the discoloration of the enamel in the early stages but progresses into holes and decay of the tooth. It also causes pain as the nerve endings and tooth tissues are exposed to external stimuli.

Your dentist will advise that you get a dental filling when one of the following occurs:

  • Your tooth examination and/or x-rays shows decay in the enamel.
  • When you chip the tooth.
In other words, you won’t get a dental filling when there’s no hole in your enamel. When your enamel is only discoloured, you’ll only have to practice better dental hygiene.

Do Dental Fillings Hurt?

Dental fillings can hurt, but not as much as you imagine. Before any dental filling, the tooth is numbed to manage the pain.

Generally, the pain you associate with dental filling is a result of the injection. Before the procedure, your dentist will apply a numbing agent to your gum to reduce what you feel around your tooth. This helps you feel only a sting when your dentist injects the root of your tooth with an anaesthetic, which removes the sensation of pain during dental filling.

Factors That Determine If Dental Fillings Hurt?

The degree to which individuals feel pain during dental filling depends on some factors, and they include:

Number of Cavities

Depending on the number of the cavities, you may need to have more injections.

Location of Cavities

To numb up the lower back teeth, a deeper injection is needed which may hurt slightly more.

What Helps With Dental Filling Pain?

Your dentist won’t let you experience the procedure’s pain because they’ll give you an anaesthetic to help with it. The type of anaesthetic they’ll give you is local, that is it’ll only affect the affected tooth and its surrounding.

Before you get anaesthetics, your dentist will rub some topical numbing gel on your gum, as it’s the closest tissue to your tooth root. Afterward, they’ll inject the anaesthetic into the root of your tooth, ridding your dental tissues of any feeling. Many people are more afraid of the needle than the pain they may feel during the filling procedure.

The numbness you’ll feel during the procedure may persist for some minutes after the dental filling is done.

Final Thoughts

The pain you almost certainly will receive not having that filling when required can be extreme and whilst there are factors such as the number of cavities, the location of the cavities, and the depth of the cavities, that may influence how much discomfort you may feel during the procedure. Generally with the use of modern numbing paste and anaesthetic, having a tooth filled may cause very little discomfort but unlikely to be painful.

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