If you’ve just had a dental filling, then there’s a good chance you’ll experience mild to moderate discomfort over the next few days. Then, once the pain has finally faded away, the tooth in question will continue to feel a little sensitive for a week or two.
So what should a nervous patient know to expedite the healing process?
In this article, we’re going to cover the details of post filling care and provide you with a few examples of when you may need to seek further medical advice.
What can I do about sensitive teeth?
It’s normal to experience some degree of sensitivity to hot and cold and biting or chewing for up to two weeks. The level of discomfort tends to be higher for fillings in deeper cavities, although other factors can affect the sensation as well.
Patients in severe discomfort should avoid hot or cold food and drinks until the pain subsides, and brushing with a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth may also provide some relief. Another handy tip is to do the majority of your chewing on the other side of the mouth. Consult your dentist if your teeth continue to feel discomfort or sensitivity after two weeks.
Why do my other teeth hurt?
Some patients experience discomfort in the teeth next to the filling, despite not having had any work done there. In this situation, the tooth with the filling is emitting pain signals outwards that manage to arrive in one or two of the neighboring teeth.
Although it seems strange, the phenomenon is entirely natural and nothing to worry about. The pain should subside within a week or two. If not, book yourself in to see your dentist.
Can I take medication to relieve the pain?
If done correctly, a filling shouldn’t cause so much pain it requires prescription medication. However, patients are encouraged to take over the counter medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to dull the pain if need be. Never exceed the directions outlined on the packet.
Are my teeth especially sensitive to fillings?
Some people’s teeth are more sensitive than others, which means they’ll suffer more after getting a filling.
However, some people are also especially sensitive to certain types of fillings, whether it be a metal or composite. If you believe that’s you, try asking your doctor about using a different filling should you require one in the future.
Also, if your dentist knows you’ve had problems in the past, he or she may apply a preventative measure such as a liner, base, or desensitising agent to minimize the discomfort.
What should I do if the filling feels sharp or uncomfortable?
Once the anesthetic has worn off and you start to chew, talk, or move your jaw, you may notice the filling feels like it has sharp edges. Occasionally, a dentist may inadvertently put the filling in too high, which creates a continuous feeling of discomfort.
Aside from the pain, a filling at the wrong height will be at a high risk of cracking, so you should schedule a follow-up appointment as soon as possible. Your dentist will be able to smooth out or reshape the filling rather than doing the whole procedure again.
How soon can I eat after getting a filling?
The length of time you should wait until eating depends on the type of filling you’ve been given.
White fillings are made of a special material called composite, which instantly hardens in your mouth under the blue light administered by your dentist. A hardened filling means you can eat straight away after the procedure, although it’s a good idea to avoid tougher foods like apples.
Metal fillings, on the other hand, don’t harden instantly, so dentists recommend you avoid all solid foods for at least the first 24 hours. In either case, it’s best to wait until the anesthetic has worn off before eating as you could accidentally bite the inside of your mouth.
What foods should I eat after getting a filling?
Dentists recommend patients should avoid eating any sticky, chewy, or hard foods for two weeks after the procedure. Patients with a high level of tooth sensitivity may experience discomfort when eating hot or cold food, so avoid these if they’re causing you pain.
And even if you’ve got sensitive teeth, there’s no reason to ever stop brushing and flossing.
Getting a filling is a bit of a pain, but the discomfort soon fades away, and it’ll protect your teeth for years to come. Whether you want a dentist in Blackburn or elsewhere in the city, Melbourne has a plethora of professional practices, so you’ve got no excuse to keep putting the procedure off.