Now that I’ve had my tooth restored with a Silver filling how can I best care for it?
Today, your DentFirst doctor restored your tooth with a silver amalgam 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 was placed to protect and comfort the tooth underneath the silver. This medicament protects the tooth by helping to limit temperature sensitivity and stimulate the formation of a new protective layer of dentin. 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.
The first 24 hours
It is important that, for the first 24 hours, you do not chew on your new restoration. While the filling material will be quite hard by the time you leave the office, your jaw can exert over 50,000 pounds of pressure per square inch and the silver amalgam will not set to its full strength for about 24 hours. In the meantime chew on the opposite side of your mouth, please. It is not uncommon for a newly restored tooth to have a temporary sensitivity to cold. This should diminish in just a few days or weeks. Remember, you are recovering from hard-tissue surgery.
If your new restoration feels “high” please let us know. Do not attempt to grind it down with your opposing teeth. 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 and adjust 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 an adjacent one. 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.
Floss daily and brush your teeth after every snack or meal. Your silver restoration will last for many, 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 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.