Tooth Sensitivity After Filling

Dental fillings are used to restore a tooth after decay is removed. Fillings can be made of composite material, porcelain, or even metals but most patients prefer composite and porcelain because they are tooth colored and blend without being conspicuous. Having a simple filling placed is a less costly and less invasive option than leaving the cavity untreated and allowing it to grow and spread.

Left untreated, a small cavity can grow deeper into the tooth and you may need additional treatment including a root canal and crown. If you do require a root canal, the endodontist will place a temporary filling to keep the tooth protected until you can see your dentist for your permanent restoration.

It is very common to experience sensitivity after having a filling placed in a tooth. Your tooth and yours a lot of pressure while being worked on and can take a couple of weeks to calm down. Even if you have a root canal in which the nerve of the tooth is removed, the tooth can still be sore and sensitive after treatment. A temporary filling is placed immediately following a root canal and is left in place to protect the tooth from further damage while you await an appointment with your dentist for your permanent restoration.

Oral Care After a Tooth Filling

Tooth sensitivity after a filling usually subsides within a week or two but there are a few things you can do to ease your discomfort. Oral care products that contain fluoride are a great way to decrease sensitivity when used twice daily. You can also take Advil or ibuprofen to ease discomfort which works better for tooth pain than Tylenol or aspirin.

For a few days following treatment, it can also be beneficial to avoid chewing on the area until it is back to normal and take care with very hot or very cold foods.

If you have a temporary filling, it is important to be very gentle with brushing and flossing. A temporary filling can come out if you snag it with your floss! Once your permanent filling is in place, you can floss and brush as normal with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice daily.

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