While a dental filling to treat a cavity is a very common dental procedure many patients may experience some mild to moderate pain and discomfort after a cavity filling.
In this post, our dentists offer some helpful tips on what you should do and not do after a dental filling and how to know if you need to go back to see your dentist about the discomfort you are experiencing.
Pain After a Dental Filling
One of the most common reasons you may experience pain after a dental filling may be because the dental filling itself could be too high. While your dentist does their best to get the filling height right the first time, you may notice that as you start to move your jaw, speak, and chew, the filling may not quite feel right. Contact your dentist about having the filling smoothed or reshaped. This is very important because if the filling is higher than the rest of your teeth it is at a higher risk of cracking.
Pain in Teeth Beside the New Filling
After a dental filling, some people may experience pain in the teeth beside their tooth that received the filling. This is normal and does not indicate there is anything wrong with your teeth. Most of the time, the tooth with the new filling is just passing along signals to the neighbouring teeth. You should notice this pain decrease within one to two weeks.
Sensitivity After A Dental Filling
It is common to experience sensitivity to air and to cold or hot food (or drink items) for up to three weeks after a dental filling. You may also notice increased sensitivity from the pressure of biting on the new dental filling, particularly if the dental filling is for a deeper cavity. To avoid sensitive teeth after a filling, you can try using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. We also recommend that you avoid very hot or cold foods and for the first few weeks, try and chew you food on the other side of your mouth. If the sensitivity does not go away after two weeks, please contact our dentist office.
Toothache After A Dental Filling
Should you still experience toothache type symptoms after your new dental filling (such as throbbing, sharp pain or constant pain) it may be a sign that the decay is quite deep into the pulp of your tooth. If this is the case, a root canal may be needed. Contact your dentist if you think this may be the problem.
Dental Filling Sharp Edge or Discomfort
As mentioned, you may notice that once you start moving your jaw and/or once the anaesthetic wears off, the new dental filling is not as comfortable as it was when you were in the dentist’s chair. You may also notice the filling is too high or that there are some sharp edges that need to be smoothed out. Contact your dentist for a quick follow up to make sure it is addressed ASAP.
Treating Future Cavities with Dental Fillings
It is possible that you may end up with another cavity in the future. If you find your teeth are particularly sensitive after receiving a dental filling you can speak with your dentist about alternative dental filling options. Each person responds differently to different types of metal fillings. Your dentist can also use additional preventative measures such as a base, liner, or desensitizing agent.
What to Eat After Dental Filling
Many patients ask our Country Dental dentists, “What can I eat after a filling”? It really depends on the type of filling you received. White fillings that are made of composite will harden instantly under the blue light used by your dentist. This hardening will allow you to eat and drink immediately after the procedure. Metal dental fillings do not harden immediately and often dentists will recommend waiting at least 24 hours following the dental filling before eating any solid foods. In order to avoid biting your cheek, tongue, or lips, you will probably want to wait until the local anesthetic wears off before trying to eat.
Foods to Avoid After Dental Filling
It is best to avoid any hard, chewy, or sticky foods after a dental filling for up to two weeks. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity you may also benefit from avoiding hot or cold drinks and foods. There is no need to wait to brush your teeth after a dental filling. You can continue brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day.
Use Over the Counter Painkillers If Needed
You can use acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help with any physical discomfort you may be feeling after a dental filling. Visit our dental fillings page to learn more about composite resin fillings, including what happens during the dental filling procedure.
About Country Dental
Country Dental operates three locations in Southern Ontario including in Fergus, Cambridge, and Toronto. We offer family dental services for adults and children, plus emergency dental services.
Are you nervous about having a dental filling procedure? At our Country Dental offices in Toronto, Cambridge, and Fergus we offer nitrous oxide sedation dentistry to help you relax.
If you still have questions about what to expect after a dental filling or you would like to book an appointment, please contact our dental office nearest you: