Patient Q&A: Does it Hurt to Get a Cavity Filled?

November 2016

Viewing posts from November , 2016

Patient Q&A: Does it Hurt to Get a Cavity Filled?

When patients hear they have a cavity, they may experience a range of emotions. One common feeling we at Aten & Garofalo Family Dentistry hear is fear. Many people worry about what the process is like and, most importantly, if it hurts.

If you have recently been told you need to get a filling, we have good news for you: We can keep you as comfortable as possible during the process. More importantly, knowing what to expect helps alleviate your concerns.

Pain prevention

The first thing we do is talk to you about your cavity. We let you know where it is and even take pictures of it. Trust us: seeing the before and after is actually pretty cool. Cavities typically show up as a dark spot on the tooth. We remove that decay and then fill it in with the material of your choosing. We recommend picking one that is closely matched to your natural tooth color.

Before we do anything, our goal is to make sure you feel comfortable. Some of our patients do well with a local anesthetic, which we administer through a needle into your gums. Yes, this is a slight pinch, but it is akin to getting a vaccination: a quick second or two of discomfort.

We recognize that some people have anxiety when it comes to dental procedures. At our office, we can offer several different methods of relaxation to help ease you into the process. You and our dentist will discuss your options to determine what is best.

Post-filling advice

Once the cavity has been filled, it may take a few hours for the local anesthetic to wear off. Therefore, you may be numb, which means you should avoid chewing anything to prevent yourself from biting your cheek or lip.

Once the anesthesia is gone, you likely will not feel any pain. You may, however, experience hot and cold sensitivity for a little while on that tooth. This is completely normal, and it can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. During that time, you can use a desensitizing toothpaste to give you relief.

If any other symptoms pop up after your filling, give our office a call to discuss them. We are always here to answer your questions and address your concerns.

What We’re Thankful for This Month: No Wooden Teeth!

There are so many reasons to give thanks this season: Friends, family and health, for example. As dentists in Ballantyne, we can’t help but to also give thanks for the many advancements that have made our industry safer and better.

Not too long ago, a cavity would mean missing a tooth or having a wooden one in its place! Fortunately, we have evolved past that. Take, for example, these advancements for which we give thanks:

The Tools

When you walk into a dentist office today, you see familiar sights: an automated chair and electric toothbrush, for example. In the 1700s, patients may have seen something called a “dental foot engine.” This is pretty much as frightening as it sounds. The dentist or the dentist’s assistant would use a foot pedal to turn a drill that would clean out a patient’s cavity. The downside, of course, is that the process then took much longer than it does now. On a positive note, the dentist sure got a workout!

The Research

Now, more than ever, we know so much about the mouth. We can detect cavities, gum disease and cancer at the earliest stages to reduce the chances of major issues down the road. When those problems do pop up, we have cutting-edge treatment methods that increase the likelihood of a healthier future.


It could take 30 minutes for a dentist to get a picture of your teeth 100 years ago. And just think: you would have to stand still the entire time! Now, it only takes a few seconds for us to grab a picture that shows us all the inner workings of your mouth.

Fillings and Veneers That Match Your Teeth

Thanks to all the advancements in cosmetic dentistry, we can now give you the smile you want! No longer do you need to have dark-colored fillings peeking out from the inside of your mouth. We can use realistic implants and veneers and fillings that match the color of your natural teeth.

A Comfortable Process

Back in the day, an anesthetic was little more than gripping someone’s arm or taking a swig of whiskey before undergoing a dental procedure. Today we can administer local anesthetics and use nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) to help keep our patients comfortable. In fact, now many procedures are virtually pain-free!

We hope you are as thankful for these developments as we are!

Aten & Garofalo Dentistry Named in Charlotte Magazine’s Top Dentists

We are so thrilled to have been named in Charlotte Magazine’s Top Dentists list this year!

Thousands of dentists were asked the question, “If you had a patient in need of a dentist, which dentist would you refer him or her to?” Our peers could then cast a ballot for the dentists they knew and trusted, taking into consideration experience, specialties, results and the use of technology. Once the scores were entered, the doctors in our practice rose the to top, earning Aten & Garofalo Dentistry, Ballantyne’s Premier Family Practice, a coveted spot on the list!

You can view our listing in Charlotte Magazine here.