Composite Fillings Post-Op Instruction

Composite fillings, which are tooth colored fillings, are one of the most common procedures done in our clinic. The most common issues that you may experience are:

Numbness at the site:
Your lips and tongue might feel numb for a few hours after your appointment. Avoid hot drinks, as well as chewing until the numbness has subsided so as not to accidentally burn or bite your tongue or lip. You may chew on this filling as soon as the numbness wears off. The filling is completely hardened.

Your bite is off:
We adjusted your bite to the best of our ability while you were anesthetized. After your numbness is gone, if the bite feels uneven or high on the new fillings, please call us immediately for an adjustment because the incorrect bite may cause toothache or sensitivity. The high spot left untreated will not go away itself. The adjustment is very important and simple. It only takes a few minutes, usually with no anesthetic required.

Temperature sensitivity:
Temperature sensitivity is common for the new fillings, especially if you have a deep cavity before the treatment. The sensitivity can last from a few days to a few weeks. Mild pain relievers such as aspiring, Tylenol, or Advil, should relieve this discomfort. The key is to watch the trend of intensity of the sensitivity. There is no worry if the bite is comfortable and the sensitivity is tapering down. However, you should notify us if sensitivity persists or getting worse.

Throbbing pain:
Small number of restored teeth may become agitated and may need root canal therapy.

Maintenance of your filling:
If you are a smoker, or enjoy to drink coffee, tea or red wine, you should have your teeth cleaned more frequently to lengthen the life of the filling because these things tends to discolor composite filling. Additional hygiene visits could help you to avoid staining from being incorporated deeply into the filling.

Biting hard on thin front fillings may cause fractures. Composite fillings look great, but aren’t as strong as teeth. Biting pencils, fingernails, fishing line, thread, and beef jerky have been known to fracture composite fillings. Use common sense to protect your fillings.

Grinding your teeth at night may cause fillings to fracture. Studies show people grind harder in their sleep and may crack fillings, fracture teeth, and damage their jaw joint. If you think you grind your teeth at night, have a protective bite guard made. It will save you thousands of dollars of treatment over its lifetime.