Dental fillings are a safe and effective way to halt tooth decay and restore your smile. Before having your tooth restored with a dental filling, you likely experienced tooth sensitivity. Your dentist drilled away the decay during the procedure, which may have caused more sensitivity. Therefore, a little sensitivity after dental fillings is perfectly normal and should resolve quickly.
However, if the sensitivity lasts for more than a few days, or you experience swelling, tenderness or a fever, contact your dentist to have your tooth and filling assessed.
The Dental Fillings Process
A filling is a standard dental procedure. Your dentist administers a local anaesthetic to the site to ensure your comfort throughout the treatment. Then your dentist clears away the decayed parts of the tooth with a dental drill before refilling and shaping the tooth to restore its integrity and appearance.
At Advanced Dental Care, we offer a variety of filling materials. The material we use depends on the location of the tooth, the amount of decay and how much restoration the tooth requires as well as your preference. The most popular filling materials are silver amalgam and composite resin.
Amalgam Dental Fillings
Silver amalgam dental fillings have been used for decades and are an affordable and long-lasting option for molars because they can handle forceful chewing. Amalgam fillings are a mixture of metals that typically includes silver, copper and tin.
They don’t bond securely to the surface of a natural tooth, so require more of your natural tooth structure to be removed than other options. They are also more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, and since the metal expands and contracts, your tooth may fracture if the cavity is deep. If you have a deep cavity, your dentist may recommend an inlay or onlay instead of a dental filling.
Composite Resin Dental Fillings
Composite resin is an excellent alternative to traditional silver amalgam dental fillings, especially if the tooth that needs to be restored is towards the front of your month. They are commonly known as white fillings and are made from a resin and glass mixture that is tinted to match your natural teeth.
These types of dental fillings preserve the structural integrity of your tooth because it is placed in layers. Each layer is hardened with a curing light before the next layer is added. They are typically recommended for small or mid-sized fillings on teeth that are exposed to moderate chewing pressure and are a good choice for a natural-looking filling.
Tooth Sensitivity After Filling: Pain Management
Normal tooth sensitivity after a filling can be triggered by biting down hard or consuming foods with a sugary composition or high acidic content. Extreme hot or cold near a sensitive tooth can also cause discomfort. Your dentist may recommend desensitising toothpaste for normal post-filling tooth sensitivity. You can also try these tips to minimise your discomfort from tooth sensitivity and speed your recovery following a dental filling:
- Avoid tooth whitening products which can make the tooth sensitivity worse.
- Rinse your mouth after eating acidic foods because brushing removes tooth enamel causing more tooth sensitivity.
- For extreme tooth sensitivity, try a numbing gel for the mouth or take an OTC medication.
- Apply a cold compress to your cheek for 15-minute intervals.
- Adhere to a soft diet for 48 hours following your procedure.
- Avoid vigorous activity immediately following the treatment.
- Avoid using straws for 48 hours following your procedure.
When to Visit Your Dentist?
Home remedies like numbing gel can work for a few days after a filling, but if your tooth sensitivity worsens or doesn’t dissipate contact your dentist for an evaluation of the filling and to see if any corrective action is necessary.
Incorrect Bite Alignment
An incorrect bite alignment occurs when the dental filling is too high, causing extra pressure as you bite down and more tooth sensitivity. When you bite down, you should not feel anything between your teeth. If you do then your bite is not aligned.
An incorrect bite alignment is an easy fix. Your dentist will file down and smooth the dental filling, so it is in line with the rest of your teeth.
Although uncommon following dental fillings, pulpitis is an inflammation of the dental pulp which is housed in the tooth root. Pulpitis occurs if the tooth suffered trauma, was cracked or broken or the cavity was very deep. It can also happen if the tooth has been filled several times. Pulpitis requires antibiotics and a root canal treatment.
Although an allergic reaction is rare, it is possible to experience an allergy to the filling material. Metal allergies are the most common.
Contact Our Dental Team to Arrange Your Dental Checkup
Fortunately, tooth sensitivity after a filling goes away naturally after a few days. The most important thing you can do is to practice good oral hygiene habits to ensure future dental problems do not develop. Contact our Available Dental Care team if you have any concerns regarding your oral health.
How to Fix Broken Dentures?
If you do a web search on “how to fix broken dentures,” you’ll turn up plenty of DIY methods that claim you should have a denture repair kit and glue handy in your home.
This is not the right solution, and you should never try to repair your dentures yourself. Take-home kits for fixing dentures result in poorly repaired dentures and an ill-fitting prosthesis that negatively affects your gums and surrounding teeth.
You also need to be wary of self-repair methods because you’re putting the broken denture back into your mouth, exposing your body to whatever materials are on or in the denture. Toxic glues that you might have lying around your house are not a safe or appropriate way to repair broken dentures.
Upon realising you are dealing with broken dentures, your first step is to call your dentist’s practice and schedule an emergency appointment. Carefully assess where the damage has occurred so you can clearly communicate what the issue is.
When you arrive at the dental practice, ensure you have all the broken denture pieces so that the repairs can be performed more easily. Just like with your natural teeth, any damage to a denture should be addressed quickly to try to save the device, rather than having to purchase a brand new one.
For the most part, your dentist can easily repair complete and partial dentures. A broken denture can often be repaired fairly quickly, minimising the time you have to go without it. If there are cracks or a small chip in the teeth or the gum portions of the denture, your dentist can send it to the lab for repair as these are relatively common occurrences.
The damaged area of a broken denture typically indicates that this part of the denture is receiving the most strain. Your dentist may choose to reinforce that portion of the device during repairs with metal mesh to try to prevent the same thing from happening again.
If an acrylic denture simply needs relining to improve a fit that has changed over time, this is something dentists can do in the office if the change is minor. Relining involves adding additional acrylic resin to the denture.
If your dentures break in half, the chances of fixing them are not as high. If the break is clean and no pieces are missing, a repair might still be possible. However, if small fragments of the denture are absent, the denture’s alignment will be off. If this happens, the best option is to replace the denture with a new one.
How to Prevent Broken Dentures?
To avoid damaging your dentures, you need to care for them properly. This means handling them carefully and cleaning the dentures according to the directions of your dentist. You should never use a regular toothbrush to brush dentures because the abrasive ingredients might cause discolouration or remove gloss. Always use a soft-bristled brush to avoid scratching your dentures.
Never use extremely hot or cold water when cleaning your dentures. Room temperature is the safest choice to avoid warping the dentures, so they no longer fit your mouth.
Book Your Consultation Today
If you have missing or damaged teeth that need repair or replacement, our team at Available Dental Care can help. We offer multiple options for tooth replacement, including dentures and dental implant procedures.
To schedule an appointment and discuss what missing tooth treatments are right for your smile, contact us on (02) 4062 8763 today.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.