Post Operative Dental
Composite or white fillings and silver(amalgam) fillings
You have just had a new filling. This is what you may feel:
• Hot Sensitivity that may last a few days
• Cold sensitivity that may last up to 8 weeks, but gradually decreasing in pain during that period.
• Sensitivity to chewing that may last up to 8 weeks, but gradually decreasing in pain during that
• After the numbing wears off, you may feel you are not biting correctly. Please call so your bite can be adjusted. You may not feel this for some time if the bite is only slightly high. Remember, when you are numb it is hard for you to judge if you are biting your teeth together correctly.
White fillings are hard right away so you can chew on them immediately, but they may be sensitive. Any filling no matter what the size or depth may result in the need of a root canal. The symptoms you look for include:
• Hot sensitivity that lasts longer than a few weeks
• Hot sensitivity that begins after the tooth has been asymptomatic or problem free for a period of
• Spontaneous pain that occurs anytime during the day or night
• Swelling, either in the mouth or on the face
• Cold sensitivity that lingers on for many minutes. Sharp instantaneous reaction to cold is probably not a root canal symptom. This is the same for children except a pulpotomy (baby rootcanal) is performed.
On the other hand, silver fillings are soft for the first 24 hours, so please chew on the other side of
the mouth. Chewing to soon on the tooth causes small fractures that will affect the longevity of the
restoration. In some cases, the filling may even come out. If silver filling were placed on both sides
of the mouth, please eat soft foods only. Since children do not usually follow the 24-hour rule for
silver fillings it is more likely that their fillings come out. Children usually cannot tell if they are
missing a filling; therefore, I ask that a few weeks down the road and a few months down the road
you look in their mouths to check to be sure if it is intact. If a filling is left out till the next cleaning, I
will guarantee you it will have decay and need to be refilled. It will be larger and deeper than
before. Possible need for root canal treatment.