Does it Hurt When you Get a Cavity Filled and is it Worth It?

When it comes to looking after your teeth, brushing for a minute once or twice each day isn’t enough to keep them strong and healthy. In order to keep the teeth in their best possible condition, a healthy oral hygiene plan needs putting in place.

If your teeth are suffering, they might begin to become damaged and decayed, which is when real problems can set in. Tooth decay can lead to cavities, which are not only incredibly painful, but they can also leave your teeth and gums susceptible to bacterial infections.

If you have a cavity, or cavities, you can’t just ignore them and hope they’ll clear up by themselves because they won’t. The problem will only get worse, unless you visit your dentist and arrange to have a cavity filled.

One of the main concerns people have when it comes to cavities, is whether or not having them filled is painful. So, does it hurt when you get a cavity filled? Well, let’s find out.

Does it hurt when you get a cavity filled?

Starting as we mean to go on, we’ll begin today by looking at whether or not having a cavity filled really does hurt.

Well, the answer is no. The actual process of having a cavity filled should not hurt because your dentist will use an anaesthetic to numb the area. Okay, an injection may be used to administer the anaesthetic, but you shouldn’t experience any real pain or discomfort.

What does it feel like to get a cavity filled?

In all honesty, once the numbing agent has kicked in and the anaesthetic really gets to work, you shouldn’t feel anything at all.

When the anaesthetic is administered you may feel a slight sting from the injection, but once that gets to work the entire area where the cavity is being filled will be numb so you won’t actually be able to feel anything at all.

Do fillings hurt without numbing?

Some people elect to not have numbing gels or anaesthetics when having a cavity filled, but does I hurt when you get a cavity filled without numbing?

Well, the answer should be no. When having a filling, your dentist won’t reach the dental pulp inside the tooth where nerve endings are, so no pain should be experienced. You may find however, that your gums hurt slightly and the surrounding area becomes inflamed.

For many, the anaesthetic is more psychological, as the mind can play tricks on you, especially if you suffer from dental phobia, and numbing agents can help to reduce pain, or feelings and sensations which the brain may perceive as pain.

Does getting a filling hurt kids?

In theory, a filling shouldn’t feel any different to kids as it would to adults. However, children’s pain receptors are often more sensitive than adults, plus they may experience severe dental phobia, so again, anaesthetics and numbing agents should be used.

What to expect when getting a dental filling?

If you are in need of a dental filling, it’s perfectly normal to feel nervous, especially if it will be your first one and you don’t know what to expect.

It might sound extreme and like something out of a horror movie, but don’t worry, as we’ve established, fillings are generally not painful at all.

Your dentist will examine your teeth and will drill into the decayed part of the tooth/teeth before using a natural looking, tooth coloured filling to replace the part of the tooth that has decayed away.

There are different materials used to fill cavities, which each one affecting the duration of the procedure, the procedure in general, and of course, the price as well.

Common materials used to fill cavities include:


Silver/grey in colour and made from a choice of metals such as silver, tin, and copper, these are cheaper than the other options we’ll be listing shortly.

Composite resin

Composite resin is probably the most commonly used material for filling cavities.

Applied in layers, it is hardened using a UV light. Composite resin is popular because it looks natural so it can be hard to tell a person has fillings if they’re made from this material.


Gold fillings are the most expensive and are the most durable. They’re also the hardest to fit and so multiple visits to the dentist may be required.

Gold fillings are highly visible because they are, well, gold, though for many who have them, this is considered a good thing.

How long does it hurt after a cavity is filled?

Having a cavity filled generally doesn’t hurt, but what about afterwards?

After the anaesthetic has worn off, your tooth may feel sensitive or tender for a day or two, and you may experience mild pain or discomfort for a day or so.

How to prepare for a cavity filling?

If you are due to have a cavity filled, it’s important to prepare as best you can.

Practice good oral hygiene and be sure to stay away from sugary and acidic foods. Try to avoid hard and crunchy foods too, as these can cause pain and discomfort when eating and chewing.

Other than that, make sure you turn up to your appointment on time and you’re all set.

Final thoughts

So, does it hurt when you get a cavity filled? Well, the answer is no. Sure, there’s some discomfort, there will be some noises during the procedure you could do without, but other than that, you should be fine.

Cavity fillings can help protect the teeth and prevent pain and discomfort, they’re simple procedures, they’re easy to perform by your dentist, and they provide lasting results.

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