Dentist reveals what to expect after a dental filling in detail
Almost everyone is familiar with tooth decay problems. We have all experienced cavities or other dental problems at some point during our lives, irrespective of our dental health. Cavities can be a real nuisance for many people as they are quite painful. If left untreated, they can become the cause for more serious problems like tooth abscess or bacterial infection in the tooth.
Dental fillings are one of the common methods used by dentists for the treatment of cavities. This method has been in use for centuries and even today is considered one of the most effective methods for the treatment of cavities.
What is a Dental Filling?
- Dental fillings are a common dental procedure for treating cavities. Basically, the part of the tooth that is decaying or infected by a cavity is removed by the dentist. The removed part is then replaced by a filling that covers or ‘fills’ it up. This filling can be made of different materials such as ceramic, gold, silver amalgam, plastic, or porcelain.
Fillings can even be colored. Each type of filling has its own benefits and disadvantages. When a person develops a cavity in his/her tooth, the dentist will first inspect the infected tooth. Then, based on the dentist’s recommendation, a dental filling will be performed.
- First, a numbing agent will be applied in the area of the infected tooth to make the process painless. Then, the dentist will remove the decayed part with a drill, called an ‘air abrasion instrument’. However, the dentist may even use a laser to remove the infected part. The tooth is then cleaned to prevent the accumulation of bacteria that can cause an infection.
The dentist will then place the filling inside the mouth. The choice of the material will be decided by the patients’ medical history, financial availably and preferences, etc. Once the filling has been placed, the outer layer will be polished.
What to Expect After Getting a Dental Filling?
It is common among patients to experience various problems after getting a dental filling. Numbness, pain, and sensitivity, to name a few. However, we need to discuss some of these problems and how they should be dealt with. Sometimes, these problems can be indicators of underlying issues and it is important to know when to consult a dentist.
- Pain in the filling: This is the most common and obvious problem that all patients face after dental fillings. The tooth stays numb and the patient experiences pain around the area where the filling took place. A person will experience pain when chewing, drinking, brushing, and flossing. Many people also experience pain when they touch their teeth.
If the cavity was so deep that it extended to the pulp, then the tissue may no longer be healthy. It might require a ‘root canal’ procedure. This pain subsides within 2 to 4 weeks after the filling is placed.
- Sensitivity: A person will also experience sensitivity to cold and hot beverages and foods after a filling has been made.
- Referred Pain: Apart from pain in the infected tooth, some people may also experience pain in other teeth as well or the entire mouth. Again, this is normal and the pain should subside after a couple of weeks
- Allergic reaction to fillings: Some people can experience an allergic reaction to silver fillings. The filling material is then replaced with another material.
- Deteriorating Filling: Fillings can crack if proper care is not taken with regular brushing and flossing. This can cause additional bacteria to form in the holes and lead to the formation of other cavities. If this process continues then the root of the tooth can become infected and lead to an abscessed tooth.
This information has been brought to you by Icon Dental Center. They have offices located in Everett and Seattle.