What to Expect After a Tooth Filling
Caring for your tooth after a filling is simple. We at Midtown Dentistry want to ensure that you know exactly what to expect after your treatment, so we’ve compiled essential information for post-filling care.
THE EFFECTS OF ANESTHESIA CAN LAST SEVERAL HOURS
- It’s important to be careful after treatment until any numbness has faded as it’s possible to damage your lips, tongue, gums and even your teeth while still anesthetized.
- Numbness in the upper jaw lasts for approximately one hour, while numbness in the lower jaw can last up to four hours.
- If you need to eat before the anesthetic has worn off, it’s best to choose something soft and to avoid hot drinks so you don’t inadvertently scald your mouth.
- If you are looking after a child who is particularly prone to biting his or her lips or tongue, keep an eye on them until the anesthetic has worn off.
- If numbness persists into the next day, contact our dental office for further advice.
SORENESS AND SENSITIVITY AFTER A TOOTH FILLING
- It’s normal to experience slight temperature sensitivity and to feel pressure in the first few days after treatment. These feelings should disappear within 72 hours, but the time frame can depend on the size and depth of the filling.
- Sometimes this sensitivity persists for several weeks, but it’s generally most noticeable during the first 24 hours.
- If your tooth is sensitive for more than 10 days, call us to schedule a return visit to our office.
- It’s also normal to experience a slight soreness around the gum — especially at the anesthesia injection site. This may last for several days.
COMPOSITE RESIN FILLINGS (TOOTH-COLORED/WHITE FILLINGS)
When you leave our dental office, your composite filling will be completely set. While you can eat immediately after your appointment, it’s best to wait until the numbness has completely worn off to avoid biting your lips, tongue, or the inside of your cheeks. Your filling may feel a little different from the rest of your tooth, but you should quickly get used to it.
AMALGAM (SILVER) FILLING
- Avoid eating on your amalgam filling for the first two to three hours after its placement. If you must eat, choose something easy to eat, such as soup.
- It’s best to avoid hard or very crunchy foods for the first twenty four hours. This is because, unlike composite (tooth-colored) fillings, amalgams require some time to set before they reach their maximum hardness.
- We will check your bite (the way your teeth fit together) before you leave our dental office, but rarely, it might feel as if the
filling is too high. If this feeling persists after the anesthetic has worn off, call us so the amalgam can be adjusted. It is important to do this because the extra pressure on your teeth could cause sensitivity.
CARING FOR YOUR NEW FILLING
It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene. Make sure you brush twice and floss once daily around your new filling. Regular appointments at our dental office will ensure that your filling is still healthy and that is is not leaking. All fillings have a limited life span and do need replacing every few years.