Tooth Colored Fillings (Composite)
Congratulations! You have just had a tooth colored restoration in your teeth. It is expected that you will benefit from years of good service provided you observe the following cautions and general guidelines.
- Anesthetic Effects: Your anesthetic may last several hours. Please be careful not to bite your lips, cheeks or tongue while they are numb.
- Feel of your Bite: Your bite will feel different for approximately 3 – 4 days. Your tongue will magnify the tooth shape difference and this too will accommodate itself in approximately 3 – 4 days. If it is still uncomfortable after a week, please contact us so we can make an appointment to adjust your restoration.
- Sensitivity: Don’t worry about mild sensitivity to hot or cold foods as this sensitivity will disappear gradually over a few weeks. Please notify us if you have long term sensitivity or sensitivity that lingers for some time after you swallow. Sometimes sensitivity may go away after we adjust your bite. Use fluoride gel as advised by us. (This requires a prescription.)
- Problems: Call us immediately if any of these conditions occurs:
- A feeling of movement or looseness in the restoration.
- Sensitivity which progressively gets worse
- Sensitivity to pressure.
- A peculiar taste from the restoration site.
- Breakage of a piece of material from the restoration.
- Chewing: Do not chew hard foods on the restorations as they may fracture. Also, if you discover you are clenching or grinding your teeth, please inform us as we will arrange for a custom occlusal guard (i.e., Nightguard) to be fabricated. If you feel your bite does not adjust on its own in the next week, please call for an adjustment appointment.
- Brushing and Flossing: Brush and floss after eating and before bedtime. Brush with an ultra-soft toothbrush at least two times a day. Floss at least once a day, preferably before bedtime. Use an electric toothbrush (such as SoniCare or Oral B).
- Rinsing: Use a fluoride rinse or non-alcoholic mouthwash. Swish vigorously for at least 30 seconds daily. Sodium fluoride is the only home fluoride that should be used. Certain mouthwash from brands such as Crest Pro-Health or Biotene do not contain alcohol. Alcohol softens bonding and weakens the bond of porcelain.
- Staining: The natural teeth around the margins of restorations can pick stains; try to avoid or keep to a minimum tobacco, coffee, tea, soy sauce, curry, colas, grape juice, blueberries or red wine. Routine dental cleanings will usually remove stains. Do not use baking soda or any abrasive toothpaste, including whitening toothpaste.
- Habits: Habits such as opening packages with your teeth, biting thread, chewing ice, nail biting or pipe smoking should be avoided. Avoid direct biting into ribs, bones, hard candy, nuts, or hard bread and rolls, as this puts stress on the material and could result in a fracture. Be aware that certain foods such as spare ribs, corn on the cob, carrots and apples can also put added stress on bonded teeth and possibly increase the need for repairs. Most kinds of sandwiches are not a problem.
- Chipping and Fractures: If a chip or a fracture does occur, it frequently requires only a simple renewal using the same or similar material. It is a short appointment and the fee is similar to that for a restoration on a front tooth.
- Restoration Life Expectancy: How long the restorations lasts depends on many things. It’s a lot like getting a new set of tires. How long they last depends on the quality of the tire, the type of road surfaces traveled, the way you drive and how many miles you drive in a year. In the same manner, longevity of your veneers depends on your habits and how much stress is placed on the teeth.
- Recalls: Inadequate return for examination is the most significant reason for the restorations’ failure. Visit us at regular (3, 4 or 6 month intervals) examination periods. Often problems that are developing around the restorations can be found at an early stage and correct easily. Waiting for a longer time may require redoing the entire restoration, or even a root canal.
We have done our best to provide you with the finest quality materials available today. However, only your continuing care and concern can assure long-term good dental health. Please call Argonaut Dental if you have concerns.