You just received a tooth filling and notice the affected tooth is sensitive to your hot cup of morning coffee or feels a little sore when you brush your teeth. Don’t worry. Tooth sensitivity after filling is entirely normal and usually is nothing to fret about. It’s typical to experience some tooth sensitivity or discomfort a few days after you get dental fillings. With just a little extra oral care and patience, you’ll be back to feeling normal in no time.
Why Get a Tooth Filling?
At Advanced Dental Care Dubbo, our dental fillings are quick and painless procedures that restore a tooth. They are necessary when the integrity of a tooth has been compromised from trauma or decay. This can include a cavity or cracked or broken teeth resulting from decay or misuse, such as tooth grinding. Whatever the case, this dental restoration procedure can repair teeth and give them a natural look that can last for about a decade.
Today’s dental fillings generally use composite or white fillings instead of silver amalgam. The composite material is a mix of resin and crushed glass particles that can be easily coloured to match your teeth’ shade, resulting in a natural-looking tooth. Thanks to composite fillings’ superb colour-matching, you no longer have to worry about others spotting unsightly silver fillings when you smile.
Beyond its aesthetically-pleasing appearance and blending ability, composite fillings also leave a more natural tooth structure intact. Because the composite bonds to the teeth, less drilling is needed, and less of the natural tooth structure is removed.
How Do Dental Fillings Work?
While you may experience slight tooth sensitivity after filling, getting dental fillings is easier than ever before. It’s a minimally invasive procedure that can be completed in one sitting. Here’s how it works:
- First, your dentist will numb the affected area with a local anaesthetic.
- Next, they’ll remove any decay or old filling material. If it’s a cavity being filled, your dentist will shape it by removing any rough edges.
- Once the decay or old filling has been removed and smoothed, they will apply composite and use a curing light to harden it. This process is repeated until the cavity is filled.
- Finally, any excess material is trimmed, shaped, and polished to provide an even, natural finish.
- Lastly, your dentist will check your bite to ensure your continued comfort.
Side Effects of Dental Fillings
While your dentist will do everything they can to make sure that your bite is functional and comfortable following your dental filling procedure, general tooth sensitivity is to be expected. The most common side effects immediately after getting dental fillings are:
- Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages.
- Gum tenderness.
- Discomfort when clenching, chewing, brushing, or flossing.
These minor sensitivities are normal after receiving dental fillings and will usually subside after a few days. However, if one or more of these issues persists or you experience other concerning side effects, you should follow up with your dentist for further examination.
How to Manage Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is not ideal, but it’s important to remember it’s only temporary. After a few short days, you’ll be eating and brushing normally without any issues. Until then, here are a few steps you can take to manage your tooth sensitivity after filling:
- Take over-the-counter pain medication. Only take the minimal amount needed to alleviate your discomfort.
- Keep your head elevated. By propping your head up and keeping it higher than your body, you can prevent blood from rushing to your head. This may help reduce the intensity of the ache.
- Avoid hot, cold, acidic, or hard foods and beverages. These foods tend to aggravate your teeth and should be avoided until a few days after your procedure.
- Avoid chewing on the affected tooth. Don’t chew directly on the teeth that got dental fillings to avoid added stress and pain.
- Brush and floss gently. Just as eating or drinking certain foods or beverages can aggravate your teeth, so can hard brushing and flossing. Try using a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoiding brushing too aggressively.
Like most dental procedures, tooth fillings may come with a bit of tooth sensitivity, but the benefits of getting dental fillings far outweigh the minor side effects. By filling cavities or otherwise compromised teeth, you can restore your teeth and achieve a natural and long-lasting smile.
Of course, it’s always best practice to maintain good oral hygiene, including six-month checkups, to identify dental problems early on. If you’re overdue for a checkup or think you may need a tooth filling, make an appointment with our experienced staff by calling us on (02) 6188 7103.