Now that I’ve had my tooth restored with a mercury-free composite filling how can I best care for it?
Today, your DentFirst doctor restored your tooth with a composite, tooth-colored restoration. This material is designed to restore both the contour and function of your tooth. All the decay was removed and a layer of medicine placed to protect and comfort the tooth underneath the high-tech composite. This medicament protects the tooth helping to reduce sensitivity. If the restoration was on a lower tooth then your tongue and lip will probably be numb for few hours. Be careful not to chew them.
We can thank the NASA Space Program for inventing Composite restorations. This space-age plastic and glass material can exhibit the translucency and color of real enamel. These modern composite restorations certainly have the esthetic qualities which make it the material of choice for restoring many teeth. This material actually bonds to the tooth and can strengthen it in ways which other restorative materials can’t.
If your new tooth-colored restoration feels “high” please let us know. We will adjust the bite for you so that it is comfortable. It’s remarkable, but your jaw can detect a discrepancy as thin as a human hair, and this improper meshing is very difficult to recognize while your teeth are numb.
Your gums may sometimes feel a bit irritated after this procedure. If this is a problem you can try rinsing the affected area with a glass of warm water into which a teaspoonful of salt was dissolved. In most cases this will provide rapid relief. Sometimes this gum irritation causes the gum to swell between the tooth and the adjacent one and it will feel like there is something stuck between your teeth. Rest assured that this feeling will be gone within a day or so if you don’t further irritate it with a toothpick or repetitive flossing.
The composite may feel “different” to your tongue or lip; especially if placed on a front tooth. Both lips and tongue tips are amazingly sensitive to any change in shape or texture. However they will also adapt quickly to your new restoration.
Floss daily and brush your teeth after every snack or meal. Your mercury-free composite restoration will last for many years if properly cared for. However, if it is not kept very clean it will most certainly decay again. Most new tooth-decay in adults comes from not flossing between the teeth. Never chew ice or nuts with your newly restored tooth. If you find yourself unable to break this habit, try to drink all liquids through a straw. Any ice cube which comes through a straw is small enough so that it won’t cause you any problem. Finally, enjoy your new smile. Show it off frequently!