Dental fillings are used to fill cavities in the teeth once decay has been removed. They can also be used to repair chipped, fracture, or otherwise broken teeth. After having a dental filling placed, you will have certain post-op protocols to follow.
Post-Op Protocols for Your Filling Placement:
What should I expect after having a filling placed?
After your filling is placed, you can return to your usual activities, diet, and dental routine. Most fillings will feel like your natural teeth, however in some cases you may notice that your bite feels uneven. This is because the dental anesthetics can make it hard to determine if your bite is even. If the anesthetic wears off and your bite feels uneven, we will need to make adjustments to the temporary bridge to keep your bite even.
When can I eat?
You can eat as soon as your mouth regains feeling. During your procedure, a local anesthetic will be used to numb your mouth and keep you comfortable. This will cause your lips, teeth, and tongue to remain numb for up to five hours after your procedure. The amount of time you will remain numb depends upon how much anesthetic was used, where it was used, and how fast your body metabolizes it. Because you can do damage to your mouth trying to eat when numb, we recommend waiting to eat until you have feeling in your mouth.
How can I manage my pain?
Before your anesthetic wears off completely, we recommend taking 3 tablets of 200mg Motrin and 1 tab of 500mg Tylenol as needed. This will help manage your pain when the anesthetic wears off. It will also ease any swelling or pain at the anesthetic injection sites.
In addition, you may also experience some tooth sensitivity to temperature, sweets, or biting. This is completely normal and will usually dissipate within a few days following your procedure. If it continues beyond a few days, you will want to call our office for further instruction.
Finally, your gums may also be sore or irritated following your tooth preparation procedure. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend a warm salt water rinse. A warm salt water rinse is composed of one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. You will want to swish this mixture around inside your mouth, over your gums, then spit.
How do I take care of my filling?
To care for your dental filling, you will need to brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes at a time, floss once daily, and have regular dental checkups and professional teeth cleanings every six months. These checkups are essential to identify possible problems with your restoration early on before they have a chance to escalate, requiring a restoration replacement.