How to Care for a Dental Filling for the First 24 Hours
Posted on 12/21/2020 by Office - Boone DMD
The placement of dental fillings is a common procedure that can protect a tooth that has a cavity or similar vulnerability. However, patients will need to alter their eating and oral health habits to maximize the longevity and effectiveness of the filling. Our team of professionals can answer our patients' questions about fillings and how to care for them.
The Time to Settle Depends on the Filling Material
To ensure that patients take good care of their fillings after the fillings are placed, the patients should know what type of fillings they have. Gold, composite, and amalgam fillings can take from 24 to 48 hours to settle. Fillings made from glass isomers settle within 3 hours, but they can take up to 48 hours to harden. Ceramic fillings set in as quickly as 3 hours.
Care for Fillings Immediately after the Procedure
Most patients can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to manage the pain and swelling that follows the procedure. Patients are strongly advised to avoid all food and beverages until the anesthesia wears off. Even after the anesthesia is not an issue, patients should avoid extremely hot and cold foods such as coffee and ice cream for a few weeks. Food that is hard, sticky, or chewy should be avoided as well to prevent damaging or dislodging the new filling. Chewing on the side of the mouth opposite of the filling also reduces the risks of damaging the filling.
Proper care for teeth with fillings protects both the filling and the tooth. Patients will benefit from knowing how to keep their fillings and teeth in optimal shape. Contact our office if you have questions about fillings or if you suspect that your teeth need fillings. We can provide dental exams and recommendations on how to fortify your teeth.