Patients may be alarmed if a general dentist mentions that a tooth extraction may be needed during a routine appointment. A dentist’s primary goal is to preserve the teeth, but there some cases where a tooth cannot be saved using normal procedures. Understanding what situations can result in tooth removal and knowing the options available…
4 Aftercare Tips for Your New Dental Filling
A dental filling is often used to treat cavities. It is one of the cheapest treatments performed by dentists, and, when properly maintained, certain types of fillings can last up to 10 years. This article will explore ways to take proper care of your dental fillings so that you get the most out of them.
How a dental filling is installed
Getting dental fillings usually takes less than an hour per tooth. The dentist starts off by injecting a local anesthetic into the area surrounding the affected tooth. The dentist will then remove decayed tooth material from the cavity.
The moldable filling is pushed into the hole and it fills up the entire cavity. The filling hardens when exposed to saliva or air. If a composite resin is used, the dentist will harden it with a UV light. It is normal to experience some tooth sensitivity immediately after getting fillings, but that goes away after a few days.
4 Ways to care for a dental filling
Getting a dental filling brings relief from the symptoms of cavities, like toothaches and sensitivity. Here is what patients should do after fillings have been installed:
1. Wait until the anesthetic wears off
As we mentioned earlier, the dentist will inject the patient with an anesthetic during the procedure. The medication might not wear off until hours after the procedure. It takes away the patient's ability to feel things in their mouth and that can lead to injuries if they try eating before they regain their ability to feel.
2. Avoid putting pressure on the tooth for a day
If possible, patients should refrain from chewing directly with the newly-repaired tooth. It might put unnecessary stress on a filling that is not fully hardened yet.
3. Practice good oral hygiene
Fillings do not require any special care. Brushing and flossing are all it takes to get the most out of this treatment. Patients are advised to brush at least two times a day. Brushing before going to bed is particularly important since bacteria do more damage while a person sleeps. This is due to the decreased saliva production that occurs during sleep. Saliva serves as a natural cleaner that removes bacteria and the acids they produce from teeth surfaces. Brushing before going to bed significantly reduces the damage done at night.
People who have a history of dealing with cavities should consider using a mouthwash that contains fluoride. Fluoride helps to mineralize tooth enamel, which protects against tooth decay.
4. Do not suck on teeth
Some people habitually suck on their teeth and that is not good for dental fillings. Over time, it can lead to the fillings becoming loosened or even coming out. The patient will need to get another filling or risk the cavity becoming larger.
Fillings keep cavities from turning into something worse
Cavities should never be ignored because they will turn into something more serious or, eventually, lead to the loss of the tooth. Contact our clinic today for a consultation.
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