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Are Dental Fillings Painful?

Lombard dental fillings are performed to restore the health and functionality of teeth compromised by decay. But one question that often pops up is – are these procedures painful? Let’s explore this topic further.

Understanding Dental Fillings  

Dental fillings are a common procedure used to treat cavities or tooth decay. When a tooth is damaged by decay, a dental filling is needed to restore the tooth to full function and prevent further damage. There are several types of dental filling materials that may be used, depending on the location and extent of the decay, as well as patient preferences. Common options include dental amalgam, composite resin, and porcelain. Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals that has been used for over 150 years due to its strength and durability. Composite resin fillings are made from plastic and glass materials and can match the color of natural teeth. Porcelain fillings are another tooth-colored option that is very durable, but may require more than one visit to place. Regardless of material, proper tooth preparation is vital for dental fillings to adhere properly and withstand biting forces over time.  

Is the Dental Filling Process Painful?

The process of placing a dental filling does require some tooth preparation and drilling, which may cause discomfort or sensitivity. However, with modern techniques and anesthesia, pain can usually be well-controlled. Prior to beginning any work, dentists will administer local anesthetic by injections to fully numb the tooth and surrounding area. As the anesthetic takes effect, patients generally only feel pressure and vibration rather than pain. Dentists also take care to remove decay and reshape the tooth precisely to minimize unnecessary tooth structure removal. State-of-the-art dental drills help keep vibration and heat generation to a minimum as well. While dental work is still often anxiety-provoking, dental fillings should not actively hurt once your tooth is numb. Make sure to communicate with your dentist in Lombard any time you experience pain during the procedure.

Post-Procedure Sensitivity

For a few days after a dental filling, some sensitivity is fairly common, especially when consuming hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks. This occurs as the numbing medication wears off and the tooth adjusts to the new filling material. Usually, this mild to moderate sensitivity resolves on its own within a week or two. Make sure to avoid very hard, sticky, or crunchy foods during initial healing. If sensitivity persists longer than a couple weeks or is severe, contact your dentist right away, as a minor adjustment or additional treatment may be needed.

Caring for Dental Fillings

To maximize the longevity and performance of dental fillings, excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits are key. Be sure to brush thoroughly twice daily, especially along gum lines, and floss daily as well to prevent decay and inflammation around filled teeth. See your dentist as recommended for periodic exams and professional cleanings too. With proper home care and routine care from your dentist, most modern filling materials can last upwards of 10-15 years or longer before needing replacement. Avoid habits like chewing on ice, pens, nails or other hard objects which can crack fillings over time.

Preventing the Need for Dental Fillings

Of course, avoiding tooth decay and the need for dental fillings altogether is the best approach. This starts with conscientious daily brushing and flossing and cutting down on sugary or acidic drinks and snacks which erode tooth enamel. Getting routine cleanings and exams allows early detection and treatment of areas at risk for decay. When decays are found early, they can often be treated with preventive measures like sealants or fluoride rather than jumping straight to a filling. For those prone to tooth decay, ask your dentist about options like prescription strength fluoride toothpaste as well. With diligent oral hygiene and regular professional care, you can help reduce lifetime fillings.

Get Your Dental Health Checked Today! 

If you have concerns about possible tooth decay or need a new dental filling placed, don’t wait. At Brett Blacher DDS, we provide comfortable, skilled treatment with advanced techniques and anesthesia options tailored to your needs. Contact us today at (630) 916-0701 to schedule an appointment and take the next step towards your healthiest smile. We provide all aspects of routine and restorative dental care for the whole family right here in Lombard.

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