If you go to the dentist’s office with a decayed tooth that has a chance to be salvaged, the dentist first removes the decayed part of the tooth. They then proceed to fill the void left behind. Fillings could also be used in the reparation of broken or cracked teeth.
On the day of your appointment, a local anesthetic is administered to numb the region surrounding the affected tooth. Next, the dentist uses a laser or drill to eliminate the decayed part. Afterward, they may check to see if all the decay has been taken out. If this is the case, your dentist will proceed to prepare the void to receive the filling. They do this by removing any present bacteria and debris. Once the filing is in place, it is time to finish and polish it.
Dental fillings are among the most common treatments that send people to the dental clinic. While the procedure is simple and lasts for a short period, the hard part is caring for the fillings. After getting your fillings, the dentist may recommend some aftercare tips. Here are some common do’s and don’ts.
Your dentist may recommend:
- Checking your Bite: Most fillings are made of ceramics or metal. It is advisable to check your bite after your filling has set. The setting time for ceramic fillings is considerably shorter compared to that of their metallic counterparts. With the former, your dentist will be able to assess the evenness of your bite almost immediately. The same might take longer for metallic braces, but if you notice any changes in your bite, notify your dentist to correct the imbalance.
- Taking Prescribed Medication: It is not uncommon to experience some discomfort and pain after the anesthetic wears off. Therefore, your dentist may prescribe some medications to help you deal with the pain. Follow their instructions, and you will feel better in a matter of days.
- Avoiding Eating and Drinking before the Anesthesia wears off: It is likely that you will still feel numbness in your mouth for some hours after the feeling procedure. This is an indication that the anesthetic hasn’t worn off. It is advisable to wait for the anesthetics to wear off before drinking or eating anything. This way, you won’t injure yourself. If you do not possess the willpower to wait, you could drink water or eat soft foods such as yogurt.
- Using the Other Side of your Mouth to Chew: As you continue adding more foods to your diet, ensure you chew using the part of your mouth that has no filling. This ensures the proper setting of the filling and prevents it from any damages.
- Calling your Dentist if you encounter Problems: If there are any problems to do with your fillings, teeth, or mouth, do not hesitate to contact your dentist. This way, underlying issues are dealt with, and further damages are prevented. Watch out for tooth sensitivity, missing and discolored fillings as well as cracked fillings.
- Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene: The fact that you now have fillings doesn’t mean you start neglecting your oral health. Ensure you continue brushing your teeth at least twice daily and flossing once every day.
Dentists recommend against:
- Uncontrolled Consumption of highly-sugary Beverages and Foods: At all times, it is essential to remember what brought you to your current situation. In the case of dental fillings, it is sugary foods. You should therefore limit your intake of these foods lest your remaining natural teeth suffer the same predicament.
- Teeth Grinding: People with Bruxism could damage their teeth and fillings. If you fall under this category, a mouthguard will come in handy. Grinding causes your fillings to wear out, thus causing sensitivity. It also causes your teeth to chip or crack.
- Staying away from Chewy, Sticky, or Hard Foods: Such foods could cause complications such as pulling out the fillings. Hard foods could fracture your tooth or filling while sticky foods adhere to the filled surfaces, increasing the risk of decay.
- Consuming too hot or too cold Beverages and Foods: This helps control pain and sensitivity. These foods could also disrupt your fillings’ bond and cause expansion and contraction of the filling material.