Composite • Ceramic (Tooth Colored) Restorations

The following information has been designed to help you properly care for your teeth and mouth following basic dental restorations.

FEELING:  The anesthesia will begin to wear off in 30 minutes to 2 hours. Until that time, avoid all hot foods or liquids, and do not chew. This is to prevent accidentally burning or biting the lips, cheeks, or tongue until the feeling has returned.

SENSATIONS: It is common to experience sensitivity to hot and cold (especially) for the first 6 to 8 weeks following placement of a dental restoration. This is due to the inflammation created in the pulp of the tooth from the mechanical placement of the restoration. The degree of inflammation is somewhat dependent on the depth and severity of the decay that dictated the restoration of the tooth.

MEDICATIONS:  The sensitivity and mild discomfort that is common after a dental restoration is usually easily controlled by the use of over-the-counter pain medications. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, are excellent for reducing post-treatment soreness and sensitivity. If the need for a stronger pain medication or more potent anti-inflammatory therapy is anticipated, prescriptions for these medications will be provided.

RINSES: The gum in the area of the restoration and around the tooth where the rubber dam clamp was placed may be tender following treatment. Warm salt water rinses (1/2 to I tsp. salt in 8 oz. glass warm water) can be swished vigorously every 10 to 20 minutes for the first 2 to 6 hours. (Do not use if you are on a salt-restricted diet. )

DIET: After the anesthesia has worn off, you may resume a normal diet. However, it is recommended that all abusive foods and chewing habits be eliminated in the area of the restoration. Abusive habits and hard foods, such as ice, hard nuts, hard candy, peanut brittle, etc. , should be avoided.

ORAL HYGIENE:  Clean your mouth as usual. There are no restrictions concerning cleaning the recently restored teeth.

QUESTIONS / COMPLICATIONS: The following are complications commonly seen following composite restorations:

  • Sensitivity to temperature for an extended period of time may be an aggravating problem following composite restoration. This sensitivity will normally diminish over a period of a few weeks, but in some cases may linger for months. If the sensitivity increases or if spontaneous pain occurs, this may indicate irreversible pulpal damage in the tooth. Additional treatment, possibly involving root canal therapy may be required to eliminate the problem.
  • Discoloration of the restoration due to highly staining foods, such as cokes, coffee, tea, etc. , or smoking, may occur with time. In some cases, the color can be enhanced by simply polishing the restorations in the dental office. However, severe discoloration can only be corrected by replacement of the restoration.
  • Fractures of the tooth or filling may occur in large restorations. If this problem arises, it may indicate the need for a more substantial restoration, such as a crown (cap). Composite restorations are not designed for excessive stress or abuse. If repeated fractures occur, repair of the tooth with a more fracture-resistant restoration is indicated.

There are a variety of complications that can arise after placement of a composite (tooth colored) restoration. These problems are usually easily managed, but may sometimes require additional treatment. If you experience any problems that concern you, please contact the office for further evaluation.

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