What Should I Expect after Getting a Filling?

Posted by Gregg L Lage DDS Jun 15, 2022

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A tooth that has a cavity will require a filling. A dentist needs to apply the filling as soon as possible to prevent additional tooth decay and damage. The filling of cavities does not merely fill the hole in the tooth caused by gradual decay. The dentist eliminates decayed tooth material to prevent more decay from spreading and a subsequent enlargement of the cavity. Thus, there are a few important steps that each person needs to take in taking care of a filling.

What Happens After the Filling?

Do not worry about potential pain after the filling. It is almost guaranteed the most pain patients experience will occur during the procedure instead of after the filling procedure. While the mouth might feel a bit numb for a few hours following the procedure, there may only be a bit of soreness following the procedure. In other cases, the patient may feel a bit of sensitivity for a few days or so, following the procedure.

In many cases, the sensitivity will likely last several days or even possibly several weeks. This sensitivity is completely normal as it is a result of nerves in the filled tooth sending pain signals to surrounding teeth and gums. Thus, there is no need to panic if someone feels sensitive in the aftermath of a filling. It is perfectly natural for a few days. If there are concerns that the sensitivity is taking too long, then give us a call for more information.

Am I Limited to Specific Foods and Drinks?

The patient needs to try and wait a few hours before eating or drinking. It will likely take between one full hour and three hours for the anesthesia to wear off. Be careful when eating and drinking. The patient might mistakenly dribble beverages until he or she fully regains feeling in the mouth.

Do not chew on the side that is numb as doing so can lead to biting the tongue or lip. Consume soft foods if possible. Avoid cold and hot foods as they will likely irritate the sensitive space around the filling.

What to do About Pain and Discomfort

If the patient feels pain and/or discomfort beyond normal sensitivity in the area near the filling, do not hesitate to reach out to the dentist. Those who feel as though the teeth that were worked on before others when biting down should also reach out to their dentist.

It is possible that there is an imbalance in the bite that causes discomfort. If this is the case, the cavity filling might have to be slightly reshaped. The dentist will check the patient's bite and proceed accordingly.

What About Children?

If you are the parent of a child who has had a filling, observe them until the anesthesia dissipates. It is possible that your child might chew on the inside portion of his or her cheek as the anesthetic feels a bit strange. Keep a close eye on your youngster to ensure he or she does not chew away at the cheek area and cause damage.

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