What to Expect After Filling a Cavity

A cavity is a hole on the surface of your tooth that forms as the result of tooth decay. At TenderCare Dental, we repair cavities with tooth-colored material called a composite resin. Here are some things to expect after filling a cavity at TenderCare Dental:

Numbness. Your dentist may numb the area around your cavity to reduce pain while getting your filling. This medicine is temporary and should wear off within hours after leaving your dental appointment. Be cautious not to bite your tongue or cheek during this period.

Sensitivity. Because some cavities are deep, cleaning them out to prepare for the filling means drilling closer to the nerves at the root of your tooth. Sensitivity may come as a result of this. Try to stay away from foods or drinks that are too hot or cold. Sensitivity will decrease as the tooth heals, but may last up to one month.

You may also notice some sensitivity in the teeth surrounding your filled tooth. This happens when the nerves in your filled tooth send pain signals to your other teeth. This pain will go away quickly.

Chewing. As soon the numbness fades away, you can begin chewing on your filling. To be safe, we recommend chewing your food on the other side of your mouth for at least 24 hours. Stay away from hard and sticky foods for the day.

Roughness. Because your new filling is not comprised of the same bone as your original tooth, you may notice a difference in how it feels. Your new filling might feel rough to your tongue. Follow your regular brushing schedule and your filling will begin to smooth out.

Gum irritation. It’s possible for your gum tissue to be irritated from the numbing shot. In this case, try some toothache medication such as Orajel, Ibuprofen, Advil or Aleve to reduce pain and inflammation.

When to call your TenderCare dentist:

  • If you experience pain while chewing
  • If sensitivity is not progressively getting better
  • If your bite feels uneven or too high
  • If you have any concerns or questions about your filling

Why fill a cavity?

Scared to fill your cavity after reading what to expect? If you find out that you have a cavity, it is important to make an appointment to get it filled as soon as possible. When you leave a cavity open, it will get worse. If left untreated, a cavity will turn into an expensive restoration procedure like a crown, root canal and eventually tooth removal. Ouch! It’s much better to take care of your smile sooner rather than later.

Having trouble telling if you have a cavity? Watch our video to learn the warning signs and symptoms.