Getting dental fillings is a routine procedure aimed at covering cavities on tooth enamel so as to prevent further decay and make chewing more pleasant. A filling can help improve your bite, your smile and prevent the onset of periodontal disease.
A tooth filling is usually a straightforward procedure where dental reconstructive material--usually made of gold, silver or composite resins--is inserted into your cavities. However, caring for the filling is what determines how successful it will be, so be sure to avoid grinding your teeth or chewing hard foods that would damage the inserted material. Also remember to brush and floss your teeth to prevent new decay around the edges of the filling.
Here are tips on how to care for and adjust to your new dental fillings.
Expect some discomfort
Dental fillings take some getting used to, and some numbness and discomfort isn't uncommon while chewing in the first few days after your teeth are filled. Sensitivity to hot or cold consumables is normal initially, so try to avoid foods that may trigger such discomfort. This, coupled with using toothpaste for sensitive teeth should help minimize discomfort as your teeth get used to the filling material. However, discomfort or sensitivity that persists for more than a few weeks should be reported to a dentist.
If you have white fillings, you should be able to chew food normally within hours of getting your teeth filled, or as soon as the numbness around your gums recedes. With silver fillings however, it may take you up to 48 hours before you can comfortably chew certain foods, so avoid putting pressure on the restored teeth during this period to allow the filling material to harden.
Any discomfort while biting could indicate that fillings are too close to each other, and will require adjustment. Slight pain can also occur due to imbalance which causes teeth that have been filled to touch first when you attempt to bite down. In such a case, visit your dentist for re-fixing so that the fillings can be evened out to match the rest of your teeth.
Watch for intense pain
While slight discomfort is normal, sharp, shooting pain in the filled tooth or surrounding gum tissue could indicate injured nerves or other complications. This is especially true if you have had a large or deep filling, so you should see a dentist, such as a Southridge Dental dentist, immediately. In case of a failed deep filling, a root canal would be a great alternative treatment to seal the cavity and damaged nerves.
Pain could also result from a reaction to the filling, especially to gold or silver fillings, in which case you must have a different filling material inserted.