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If you’ve never had a cavity before, you may be feeling nervous about getting one filled. That’s completely normal. Most patients have lots of questions leading up to their first dental filling. The good news is that dental fillings are often a quick, easy and painless procedure with proper care. Here’s what you need to know about dental fillings aftercare.
Do I Really Need a Filling?
One of the most common questions many people have before getting a cavity filled is whether or not they really need a filling. If your dentist has diagnosed you with a dental cavity, it is important to get it filled.
Dental cavities are caused when decay damages a tooth to the extent that a small hole forms in the enamel or outer layer of the tooth. This is a serious issue because the enamel of a tooth protects the inside layers and root of the tooth from bacteria and infection. If a cavity is left untreated, it can cause a lot of problems.
It’s also very common to experience severe discomfort from an untreated cavity because the nerves in your tooth will start sending pain signals to your brain to let you know that your tooth is infected and at risk for tooth loss. That’s why it’s so important if your tooth is hurting to see your dentist right away and get any cavities diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
My Tooth is Getting Filled, What Now?
If you already made an appointment to get that cavity filled, that’s great! Your tooth is on the road to recovery and will practically be as good as new soon. Good aftercare can also help to speed up your recovery so here are some tips.
Dental fillings aftercare is pretty simple. First of all, your tooth and the surrounding section of your mouth will probably be numbed for the procedure, and the numbness can last for a few hours afterwards. It can be helpful to clear your schedule and take it easy during that time. Having part of your mouth numb can make it difficult to talk, eat, or drink, so giving yourself time to rest while the numbness wears off can help to relieve you from additional stress and discomfort. When you are thirsty, using a straw to drink can also make things easier. Be careful not to eat any food that requires chewing to avoid the risk of accidentally biting your tongue or cheek if it’s still numb.
As the numbness fades, pay attention to how your mouth feels. Dental fillings are typically painless procedures, but if you do experience discomfort afterwards, an over-the-counter pain reliever can help to calm down possible inflammation temporarily. A salt water rinse can also help to soothe your mouth as it recovers. If any discomfort persists, contact your dentist right away to make sure everything is sealed and healing properly.
Talk with Your Dentist
If you have any additional questions or concerns after a filling was performed, it’s always a great idea to call your dental office and ask about dental fillings aftercare. Dental fillings are a common procedure and your dentist will be happy to help address any concerns and make the process as comfortable and easy as possible.
Call our Shreveport or Bossier City dental offices, to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.