What to Expect During a Tooth Filling

Cavities are the most common dental issue in the United States. In fact, 52% of children, 57% of adolescents, and more than 90% of American adults have at least one cavity.

Cavities are holes in teeth caused by decay. They start small, but grow bigger over time without proper treatment. Eventually, cavities may lead to complications like sensitivity, pain, and permanent tooth damage — but there’s a simple solution to treat them.

Tooth fillings use special dental materials to fill in cavities and stop damage from progressing. Almost everyone needs to get a filling at some point in their lives, and it’s a quick procedure that no one should fear.

Kohei Morita, DDS, and our team at Morita Dental offer tooth-colored fillings for children and adults. If you’ve been told you need a filling, here’s what to expect.

The steps of filling a cavity

Getting a tooth filling is a routine dental procedure that takes about an hour in the office. It requires only local anesthesia, and there’s no downtime required. Here are the steps our team follows during tooth fillings:

1. Preparing your mouth

Our team starts by applying a numbing gel to your gums. Once you can’t feel the area anymore, we inject a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding tissue.

Many patients find that local anesthesia is enough to keep them comfortable during a tooth filling. However, if you have dental anxiety, ask our team about nitrous oxide or other forms of light sedation to ease nerves before getting a filling.

2. Cleaning your tooth

Once your mouth is numb, we thoroughly clean your tooth to prepare it for the filling. This part generally includes using a drill or other dental tools to remove bacteria and decay from inside the tooth.

3. Filling the cavity

After cleaning your tooth and removing decay, we prepare the filling material. We use tooth-colored fillings at Morita Dental, and our team chooses a color that closely matches your natural teeth.

We fill the hole with the filling material and shape it to match the rest of your tooth. Then, we cure it with heat, light, or a combination of both.

4. Refining the filling

Immediately after curing, the filling material is hard and durable. We polish it and check your bite. If it affects the way your teeth come together, we refine the shape of your filling so that you don’t notice it in your mouth.

What happens after a tooth filling

You’re free to leave the office and go back to your usual routine after getting a filling. Dr. Morita generally recommends avoiding eating or drinking until the anesthetic wears off, which typically takes a couple of hours.

Many people don’t have any side effects after getting a filling. However, mild pain or discomfort can happen. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help. If you experience worsening tooth pain or sensitivity after a tooth filling, contact our team at Morita Dental right away.

Dental fillings don’t require any special care. Because we use tooth-colored dental materials, the filling is invisible in your mouth, and you won’t even know it’s there. To maintain your best oral health, continue coming in for regular dental cleanings.

Tooth fillings are a simple, effective way to treat decay and protect your oral health. Contact our team at Morita Dental online, or call the office at 408-775-7770 to schedule your next appointment.

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10055 N Portal Ave

Suite 110

Cupertino, CA 95014

(408) 775-7770


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9:00 am-6:00 pm


9:00 am-6:00 pm


9:00 am-6:00 pm


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By Special Appointment