Post Op Instructions: Composite Fillings
Once we have restored your teeth with tooth-colored materials, these restorations will serve you well for several years. The resin (plastic) material used contains small “filler” particles of glass-like material for strength and wear resistance. They contain the finest and most up-to-date materials available today. However, you should be aware of the following information about your new restorations:
- As with natural teeth, avoid chewing excessively hard foods on the filled teeth (hard candy, ice, raw carrots, etc.) because the resin material can break under extreme forces.
- Composite fillings set up hard right away. There is no waiting time to eat. Children should be observed until the anesthetic wears off. Due to the strange feeling of the anesthetic, many children will chew the inside of their lips, cheeks, or tongue which can cause serious damage.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold is not uncommon for a few weeks following a dental restoration. Usually, the deeper the cavity, the more sensitive the tooth will be. As discussed before in rare cases of severe, persistent sensitivity a root canal treatment might be needed. If you feel the bite is not correctly balanced, please call for an appointment for a simple adjustment.
- The gum tissue could have been irritated during the procedure and may be sore for a few days together with the anesthetic injection site.
- The finished restoration may be contoured slightly different and have a different texture than the original tooth. Your tongue usually magnifies this small difference, but you will become accustomed to this in a few days. Also, patients who clench or grind their teeth typically have longer more difficult healing period. Properly designed bite guard might be needed to alleviate these problems.
When a tooth has a cavity the Dentist removes the decay and fills the hole with a filling material, the tooth supports the filling. The ideal filling is no more than 50% of the tooth. This leaves half the tooth to support the filling. When you get a cavity that takes up 60%or more of the tooth, a crown is indicated. A crown covers the entire tooth and holds the tooth together. Sometimes we place a filling thinking there is enough tooth to hold the filling when actually there is not. The tooth then starts to break away because it can no longer support the filling. In this case, if it happens with in a year, we will credit the cost of the filling towards the cost of a crown.