Instructions Following Fillings

Instructions Following Composite Fillings

  • After a filling, or restoration is completed, the likelihood is that you will be numb for several hours.  If you need to drink, drink something cold or luke warm so that you do not burn yourself.  This is more important for when tongue and lip are numb.  The same goes for eating- while you’re numb, we do not want you to accidentally bite your cheek, tongue, lip, etc., and hurt yourself, so try to restrain from eating if possible.  If you need to eat, try smoothies, or foods that you do not have to chew. 
  • Sometimes, if the filling is small enough, you may not have had to get numb for your filling.  If so, the good news is that the material used has set  immediately so you do not have to wait for the material to set, and you can eat or drink immediately.
  • For the next several days, we recommend staying clear of any extreme hot or colds.  No matter the size of the filling or restoration, after work is done the nerve may be hyper exacerbated, and you want to give it a chance to rest.
  • After a filling is done, it is not uncommon for your  tooth to be overly sensitive. Give your body a chance to get back to normal and allow the nerve to calm.  Your jaw may also be a tender from staying open and the anesthetic, and that is common as well.
  • Sensitivity can last for upwards to 4-6 weeks sometimes, and sometimes longer.  This can be normal, depending on the size and depth of the cavity. However, if the pain worsens with each passing day, please contact the office.  If you find yourself getting spontaneous pains, or throbbing pains, contact the office for a consultation.
  • No two cavities are alike and therefore no two fillings are alike. Just because a filling you had placed in the past wasn’t temporarily sensitive, doesn’t mean something is wrong if a recently placed one is.
  • If you notice your bite is off once the numbness wears off, you may need a simple and quick bite adjustment.  While numb it can be hard to tell if your bite is perfect.  Contact the office for a quick adjustment, as this can hyper exacerbate the nerve. Your teeth are very sensitive to change, and they can feel if the bite is off even a fraction of a micron!  Just think about how you can tell if you’ve accidentally had a hair in your food!
  • You may find some excess pieces of white or clear filling material in your mouth afterward. Do not worry, the integrity of the filling is fine, this is just some “flash material”, which is unbonded pieces of material that may have gotten stuck around your gums and between your teeth during placement of the filling.
  • The gums around a filling may be sensitive for several days, especially if the filling was sub-gingival, or underneath the gums. This is normal as well, but should get better within 2-3 days. 

Instructions Following Temporary Fillings

A temporary, or “sedative” filling, is placed for multiple reasons.  The most common reason a temporary filling is placed is when there is concern that the nerve may be inflamed once the decay has been removed.  This type of filing is placed to soothe an inflamed.  This helps reduce the chance that a tooth may need a root canal.