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.
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.
Whilst most fillings are carried out with no problems at all, if your dentist performs the procedure poorly, there are a number of potential issues that may result.
Whilst it’s normal to notice mild sensitivity after a cavity filling treatment, for a day or two afterwards at most, this sensitivity should disappear on its own. If the problem doesn’t go away after a few days or gets worse, it could be a sign that there is another issue that needs further treatment.
If the bacteria in the affected tooth was not all removed before the filling was placed, this can result in an infection or in the filling failing and falling out. If you do have an infection, you will sometimes notice pain in the area, along with a swollen and pus-filled cavity. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important that you go and see a dentist as soon as possible. If your dentist failed to carry out the procedure properly, and you have suffered as a result of this, you may be able to claim compensation for what has happened to you. Contact us for more information and to find out if you have a claim for a bad cavity filling and any resulting injury.
The tooth filling price will depend on several different factors. If your treatment is done on the NHS, the cost of a filling falls under Band 2 treatment. You can find out the current costs of each band of NHS treatment, and what procedures are included in the bands, by clicking here.
If you have a cavity filled by a private dentist, the cost will vary, depending on what that specific dentist or practice charges, and what type of filling it is. Your dentist should discuss the cost of treatment with you before going ahead with a filling procedure.