When you have a cavity filled, it’s important to follow the guidelines for cavity filling aftercare. While our Lifetime Family Dental office in Gilbert AZ always explains how to care for your mouth after a dental procedure, sometimes the information gets lost in the busyness of life. So in the interest of better oral health, here are the specifics about what you need to do after you have had a cavity filled.
First 3 hours
For the first three hours after having a cavity filled, it’s important not to chew on the numb side of your mouth. The numbness that kept you from feeling any pain during your procedure will also keep you from feeling pain if you bite your tongue, cheek, or lips. It takes about 3 hours for the anesthesia to wear off, so be patient until the tingling stops and you have normal feeling in your mouth. With children, the temptation to explore the numbness by chewing will be powerful. Observe them carefully until the anesthesia has worn off.
It is quite normal for teeth to be sensitive to heat and cold after a filling has been done. The dental pulp and nerves of the tooth have been stimulated and need some time to heal. This will take a week or two. If you experience sensitivity, avoid hot and cold liquids and foods, and try a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. If your discomfort is mild to moderate, you can take pain relief medication. If your discomfort is constant or extreme, call us immediately.
Your gums are very sensitive. If you have soreness, they may have been bruised during the procedure. Your gums may also be sore from the anesthesia injection. This pain will subside within a few days. As long as your mouth is continuing to feel better day by day, everything is normal. If the pain level stays the same as before your procedure or gets worse, call us immediately.
Composite resin or amalgam?
If your filling is made from composite resin, it has already been cured and set during the procedure and you are good to go. If the filling is amalgam, it will typically need time to settle. Avoid hard foods and don’t chew directly on top of the filling for 24 hours.
These guidelines for cavity filling aftercare are meant for your comfort and peace of mind. If you still have questions or if you feel that your mouth is not healing as it should, please call us immediately. Pain is a symptom that something is not right, and it should never be ignored. Lifetime Family Dental (serving Gilbert Arizona and the Phoenix Valley) is committed to your oral health. Feel free to give our office a call if you have questions about your oral care. We’ll be glad to help you!