What is a tooth cavity filling?
Fillings are a restorative dental treatment, used when a tooth has been damaged or has decayed. They are called cavity fillings because the procedure involves removing the decay or the damaged area of a tooth, which leaves behind a hole – or cavity – that needs to be filled to protect the rest of the tooth.
The tooth cavity filling process
A tooth cavity filling treatment will start with you being given local anaesthetic to numb your mouth so that you don’t experience any pain during the procedure. This anaesthetic is usually administered with a needle, directly into the gum in the affected area. It generally takes just a few minutes to take effect.
The decayed or damaged area of the tooth is then removed, usually with a dental drill, to make sure that no bacteria remains. The filling is then placed into the cavity. For amalgam fillings, the process usually takes just minutes to complete. For white fillings, where separate layers of filling material are added in stages, the cavity filling time may be significantly longer.