How To Care For Your Composite Fillings
The resin (tooth colored filling) material used contains small “filler” particles for strength and wear resistance. We expect these restorations to serve you well for several years. White Fillings contain the finest and most up to date materials available today. Rest assured that only the best and most durable materials are used in this practice.
- DO NOT chew or bite with full force until the numbness has worn off if anesthetic was used. The numbness usually wears off in about 4 hours. Filling is at full strength when completed.
- Be careful while numb!!!
- Bite–the occlusion (bite) has already been adjusted, however, your bite may feel different when the anesthetic wears off. If you have had multiple restorations please give yourself time to get adjusted to the new fillings. If your bite feels “off” please contact the office so we can adjust your bite, otherwise, your teeth can become tender and sensitive to temperatures and biting.
- When restorations are very large, the tooth may become weak and fracture over time and a crown may be needed. A crown gives the tooth complete coverage and strength.
- Exposure-The nature of the extent of the decay may cause the nerve to become exposed. If the decay was to the nerve, a medication may be placed on the exposure site (Pulp Cap) and there may be healing. It is probable that endodontic treatment (root canal therapy) will be needed at some time in the future. If there was a near exposure, medication was also placed on the site, but there is a reduced possibility of future endodontic treatment. In either case, expect the tooth to be very sensitive to temperature changes, especially cold temperatures, for several weeks.
- Sensitivity-It is normal to experience some sensitivity to heat, cold and pressure after your appointment. One response of the nerve is to become sensitive to temperature changes. This will persist until the recession and insulation process can catch up to the effects of the bacteria, hence “the decay.” This sensitivity can last from several days to several weeks. Usually, the bigger the cavity, the longer the sensitivity you will experience. Several other factors also contribute to postoperative temperature and pressure sensitivity. You can also expect some soreness in your gums for several days.
- Oral Self Care and Recare-You may (and please do!) brush and floss your teeth after the local anesthetic has worn off. It is a good idea to use a sensitivity protection toothpaste (i.e., Fluoridex (sold in office), Sensodyne or Crest for Sensitivity) after fillings are completed. Refrain from using whitening products and toothpaste as the will increase sensitivity after fillings are completed.
- Be sure your toothpaste contains fluoride to protect around your fillings and floss daily or you can get recurrent decay around your fillings. Also, use prescription fluoride toothpaste if you have experienced multiple recurring cavities.