So, you had some tooth decay and needed a dental filling. Leaving the dentist's office you may find your mouth feels numb and sore, so eating and drinking might be more complicated while your mouth gets back to normal.
Here's what you need to know about filling recovery and aftercare.
Be careful not to accidentally bite the inside of your mouth while it's numb.
Recovering from anaesthesia
Fillings usually require local anaesthesia, often delivered by a small injection. The anaesthesia usually lasts between two and four hours and during this time, you should take extra care of your mouth.
Be careful not to accidentally bite the inside of your mouth while it's numb. It's best to hold off from eating until you recover feeling in your mouth, and you should also avoid hot drinks, as you could unintentionally scald your mouth.
If your child has had anaesthesia for a dental procedure, keep a close eye on them as it wears off. Because their mouth feels numb, children can sometimes chew on their tongue, lips or the inside of their cheeks, causing painful wounds.
The anaesthesia wearing off can feel like pins and needles. As you regain feeling, you may notice a small ache in your gum or jaw. This is because the gum tissue may have been irritated by the procedure or the injection. We recommend chewing carefully on this side of your mouth if this is the case – it should return to normal within a few days. If the sensation is bothering you, a simple paracetamol is often enough to relieve any discomfort.
Once the numbness in your mouth wears off and you can feel normally again, check your bite and make sure it feels comfortable.
Composite fillings are set right away, so you can chew on that side of your mouth as soon as it's comfortable. With silver fillings, try not to chew on that side for at least 24 hours after getting it, and avoid hard and sticky foods.
You may notice that the tooth that has the new filling is slightly more sensitive to hot, cold or sweet food. This sensitivity typically decreases and goes away completely in one or two weeks. In the meantime, try to avoid very hot and cold food and drinks, and use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
If you experience significant discomfort, or if you have questions or concerns after getting a filling, don't hesitate to get in touch with our expert team.