When it comes to specific oral procedures such as getting or caring for a dental filling, there are a lot of pressing questions that patients might have, but are too scared to ask their dentist in person. While we always encourage you to be open and honest about your concerns regarding dental procedures, cleanings, and examinations, we also want to make sure that all of our patients’ needs are accommodated. With that in mind, we’ve created this exhaustive FAQ page to answer all of your questions regarding tooth fillings.
1. Is losing a filling or having a filling fall out considered a dental emergency?
Technically, losing a filling isn’t considered a dental emergency as long as you make every effort to get to the dentist as soon as possible to resolve the issue. Call your dentist’s office immediately to inform them of the situation so that that they can schedule an appointment for you as soon as possible. Without that filling, the internal structure of your tooth will be exposed to bacteria and other harmful elements, so you may feel some pain, discomfort, and sensitivity.
2. How long do dental fillings last?
There are three different types of fillings and they each vary in terms of their durability and longevity. Gold fillings, which are the highest quality, can last anywhere between 15-30 years. Silver fillings typically last between 10 to 15 years. Lastly, composite resin fillings, which are the lowest grade, last about 5-7 years. You should get your dentist to check your fillings regularly to make sure there are no premature issues with them.
3. Can a cavity filling last forever?
No dental filling, no matter how durable they’re made to be, can last forever. Eventually, the materials used to make the filling will weaken and break down, which means they’ll need to be replaced. As long as you take good care of your teeth by brushing, flossing, and using alcohol-free mouthwash on a daily basis, then you can help lengthen the lifespan of your fillings.
4. Do I need to have my fillings replaced?
Yes, you will need to occasionally have your fillings replaced. As mentioned, they’re not meant to last forever, which means that they’ll eventually begin to lose their structural integrity at which point it’ll be time to get new fillings. With proper care, however, fillings can last for many years between replacements.
5. Why does my tooth hurt after getting a filling done?
It’s completely normal to experience a minimal amount of pain, discomfort, or sensitivity immediately after having a filling placed on one or more of your teeth. Keep in mind that the internal structure of the tooth has been degraded and that’s why you need the filling in the first place. Any substance that comes into contact with the affected teeth for the first little while whether it’s hot or cold water, food, or even air can cause it to feel sensitive. It takes a little bit of time for the tooth to adjust to its new structural support and regain some of its strength. This discomfort or pain usually subsides within a few days, but in some cases can last weeks or months.
6. Can you accidentally pull out a filling while brushing or flossing?
Yes, your filling can be damaged or fall out as a result of brushing or flossing too aggressively but usually if a filling falls out there was something wrong with it. However, that shouldn’t discourage you from brushing or flossing. It’s important to move your toothbrush in gentle circular motions to avoid removing the protective layer of enamel on your teeth.
7. Can you floss when you have one or more fillings?
Yes, you can still floss even if you have fillings. At first, it might feel a little strange or sensitive around the affected teeth, but flossing is an essential part of your daily oral hygiene and it shouldn’t be neglected.
8. Can you drink water after getting a filling?
You can certainly drink water after getting a filling. Just make sure it’s not too hot or too cold as this can lead to severe sensitivity and discomfort. Initially, it’s a smart idea to stick to lukewarm beverages and foods.
9. Can you eat after getting a filling?
Yes, you can eat after getting a filling, although it’s recommended that you wait at least a few hours to allow the anesthetic to wear off. Also, be extremely careful with the types of foods you choose to eat. Stay away from anything that’s too crunchy or spicy. Stick to softer and lukewarm foods that won’t damage your newly placed filling.
10. How long will your mouth feel numb after getting a filling?
That honestly depends on the number of fillings you had done as well as your personal tolerance level for pain and sensitivity. Some patients don’t require anesthesia, whereas others do. The more local anesthesia your dentist uses, the longer it will take for the numbness to subside. However, it shouldn’t last for more than a few hours. There is also available at additional cost, an injectable agent to reverse the local anaesthetic cutting the time you feel numb at least in half, some people in as short as 30 mins. find the numb feeling is gone. Ask your dentist if they offer this treatment (Princeview Dental offers this treatment).
11. Can I fill a cavity at home?
While you can certainly take steps to prevent cavities such as refraining eating sugary foods, we certainly don’t recommend filling a cavity at home on your own. For a professional cavity filling, it’s always best to visit your dentist.
12. How long can I wait before getting my fallen or damaged filling replaced?
The longer you wait to have a filling replaced, the worse the problem will become. Every time you eat or drink something, the acidity level in your mouth rises and this will wear away at the exposed dentin beneath the surface of your tooth, causing more pain and sensitivity. It’s best to contact your dentist immediately after losing a filling.
Princeview Dental Group, located in the heart of The Kingsway, can repair and replace damaged or fallen out dental fillings for patients both existing and new. If you’ve suffered a dental emergency or need to have your tooth refilled, please contact us today.