Having a tooth filling is the proper dental method for treating teeth damaged by decay. It works by restoring the tooth’s shape and function, removing the decayed part of the tooth, cleaning the affected area, and then inserting a filling material. This does not only treat decayed teeth; it also prevents further tooth decay.
There are various types of dental fillings. The type of filling you need depends on the extent of repair, the dentist you visit, and the type of filling materials and pre and post-care they provide. Some of the common filling materials are the following: amalgam or silver fillings, porcelain fillings, gold fillings, and composite (plastic) resins.
What Happens When You Get a Filling
When you have your cavity filled, the dentist will first remove the decay in the affected area of your tooth or teeth. After removing the decay, the area is cleaned thoroughly. This hollowed or cleaned out area will now be filled with a certain material, whether it’s gold, porcelain, silver or composite filling.
When Do You Need A Filling?
The best way to find out is to go to the dentist. During your regular checkup, the dentist will detect whether you have cavities in your tooth that would require dental filling. Using comprehensive digital x-rays or other x-ray services, the dentist will be able to locate potential issues. Depending on the extent of damage by the decay, the dentist may require filling or other appropriate dental procedure.
What To Do After A Tooth Filling?
But for tooth filling, one still needs to take caution and maintain their teeth and take care of it after the procedure. With this, here is a tooth filling aftercare you can follow:
- Right after having the filling, you will feel numbness in your mouth for at most three hours. During this time, make sure that you don’t chew on the numb side of your mouth. Wait for the anesthetic to wear off before chewing on this side. If the patient is your child, monitor him or her. The child has the tendency to play with the numb side.
- During the first few hours after you’ve had tooth filling, be careful when you are drinking hot drinks. Better yet, refrain from drinking anything hot until the anesthesia wears off.
- When the anesthesia wears off, check your bite. You may feel pins and needles first before you can feel normally again. Once you do, check if your bite is okay or that the teeth that underwent filling don’t touch first when you bite down. If there’s imbalance or wrong bite, call the dentist to have it readjusted.
- If you had silver fillings, avoid chewing on or eating hard foods on the affected area for the first 24 hours. During this time, just chew on the other side of the mouth. But if you had fillings on both sides of your mouth, just eat soft foods. However, if you had white fillings, then you can chew on it after the numbness wears off.
- It is normal to feel pain or sensitivity in the injection site during the first few hours or a few days. However, if this goes on for a week, then it’s time to call your dentist.
- If you had deep filling, then you may need extra aftercare. You may experience pain for a days or a week after the filling procedure. This is because of a possible inflammation in the tooth. A deep filling is done close to the nerve, hence, the pain. However, there are instances when deep filling does not work. Once this happens, you may need a root canal to retain the tooth.
- Eating a healthy diet also helps. You can eat vegetables, fresh fruits, cheese and other foods found to promote good oral health. Refraining from eating cavity-causing foods is also recommended.
- The most important of the tooth filling aftercare is to continue performing regular, routine dental hygiene. Make sure that you brush and floss your teeth regularly and thoroughly. Remember why you had to get filling in the first place. Yes, it’s because of cavities. And the number one cause of cavities is poor dental hygiene. So to take care of your fillings and to keep the health of the rest of your teeth and mouth, make good oral care a habit.
If you experience any problems after having a tooth filling, the best thing to do is to call a dentist for appropriate relief and action. If you want to know more about tooth fillings or if you think you may need to get one or would like a free second opinion, contact East Valley Dental Professionals.