How Long After A Filling Can You Drink Tea

This blog post will address the topic, “how long after a filling can you drink tea” and cover topics like what is a dental filling, how is a dental filling done, types of dental filling materials, comparison between tooth-colored composite and silver fillings, temporary fillings, symptoms experienced after filling and everything about eating after filling including waiting time and how to eat after filling.

How Long After A Filling Can You Drink Tea

After a filling, the dentist suggests drinking tea or coffee or eating anything after two hours as local anesthesia numbs your teeth and gums and takes almost an hour or two to subside and disappear completely.

You must not drink too hot tea or too cold iced tea as new fillings may distort and break due to excessive contraction and expansion of the filling material.

Therefore, it is recommended to not eat immediately after a cavity filling and wait for at least 2 hours before eating or drinking anything.

What Is A Dental Filling?

Dental filling, as the name suggests, is the use of various materials to fill the hole in the teeth called cavities

Materials used to fill the cavities are referred to as Filling Materials and the process is known as Dental Filling.

How Is A Dental Filling Done?

  1. A local anesthetic is used in the first step to numb the soft tissues around the tooth that needs filling. This is essential to give painless dental care.
  1. Removal of the decayed area of the tooth that needs filling using rotary instruments, or a laser.
  1. Probing to confirm removal of all decayed parts of the tooth that needs filling.
  1. After complete removal of the decayed part, cavity preparation is done by cleaning the bacteria and other debris produced during decay removal.
  1. Liners are applied for nerve protection if the decay has advanced to the root and might irritate the nerve endings.
  1. If you have opted for a tooth colored composite material for filling, then your dentist will apply the composite in layers and use a special blue light called “curing” to harden the composite material applied.
  1. Finally, trimming and polishing is done and the filling process is complete.

Different Dental Filling Materials To Choose From: What Is Best For You?

Variety of materials are used for filling. Some of them are listed below:

  • Gold fillings 
  • Porcelain 
  • Silver amalgam  
  • Tooth-colored materials called composite resin fillings
  • Glass Ionomer

Several factors that need consideration while choosing the best filling material for yourself are:

  • Where is the decay located?
  • How much has the decay involved the tooth?
  • If the roots are involved?
  • Amount you can bear for a filling?
  • Recommendation of the dentist after full examination and X-Ray

After taking all the above points in consideration, you can choose the best filling material for yourself that will have maximum efficacy and minimum discomfort.

Tooth Colored Composite Filling Vs. Amalgam Filling

Composite FillingAmalgam Filling
Tooth Colored With Good AestheticsSilver Colored With Poor Aesthetics
Cavity preparation involves removal of less tooth structureMore tooth structure is removed during cavity preparation involving even the healthy parts of the tooth
Lasts for at most 5 years and is less durableLasts for at least 10 to 15 years and is highly durable
No discoloration is observedGrayish discoloration is observed in the surrounding tooth
Filling process takes longer as curing is involvedFilling process is 20 minutes quicker when compared to composite filling
Expensive and costs two times more than amalgam fillingAmalgam filling is inexpensive
Incidences of cracks and fracture is rareCracks and fractures occur frequently along with few allergic reaction cases
Composite bonds to the tooth structure micro-mechanically by creating pores for additional supportPartial or total etching is now done to bond amalgam to the tooth structure

What Is A Temporary Filling And Do I Need One?

Temporary filling, as the name indicates, is filling the cavity or hole in the tooth with a material that is temporary and will be replaced in future by a permanent material.

You might be asking yourself why not directly use a permanent filling material. 

Well! The answer to this is quite simple. You need a temporary filling if any of the given conditions coincide with your condition:

  • Your dentist has recommended multiple visits for the filling
  • If you have undergone a root canal and then getting a filling
  • In case a dental emergency is to be met first

However, once the condition is met or the time arrives, get your temporary filling replaced by a permanent one. 

Failing to do so will cause infections and destruction of the adjacent tooth.

After Getting A Dental Filling: Signs & Symptoms

Numbness

Just after the filling is complete, you may feel numb till the effect of local anaesthesia wears off.

Tooth Sensitivity, Pain And Pressure On Biting

Tooth sensitivity after getting a filling done is not uncommon and it may fade away in 1-2 weeks.

Sometimes, the trimming and polishing part is not done accurately, which leaves the filling too high, causing pain and pressure on biting.

This can be corrected by the dentist in no time and will help you to quickly come out of discomfort.

Galvanic Shock

Mostly seen with amalgam fillings, galvanic shock is a type of electric shock in the mouth, produced when two metal fillings touch each other.

All pain and sensitivity might take 2 weeks to subside. If it does not disappear even after 2 weeks, it is recommended to consult your dentist.

Eating After Filling: All You Need To Know

How Long Should I Wait To Eat After Getting My Filling Done?

It is a common question in every patients mind and the answer is not that simple. It depends on the following factors:

Filling Type

Amalgam filling takes almost 24 hours to harden and therefore you can only start eating after 24 hours.

Composite hardens as soon as you leave the dental chair and therefore you can eat once the local anesthetic wears off.

Local anesthetic

Local anesthetic applied during the filling process makes the entire procedure pain free as it numbs the surrounding soft tissues.

The numbness takes almost 1 to 3 hours to go away and therefore you must eat after the numbness has subsided.

If you eat when your mouth is still numb, the risk of chewing and damaging your tongue, cheeks and lips increases.

Hence, it is advised to eat only after the numbness in your mouth disappears.

Discomfort After Filling

It is quite normal to face some discomfort like pain and pressure upon biting after filling or soreness in the gums.

Such discomfort may disturb your mood and hasten your desire to eat.

Over the counter pain killer and salt water rinse will help in comforting you.

Sensitivity After Filling

Eating or drinking too hot or cold might cause sensitivity and interrupt your happy eating hours. 

This is temporary and will subside in coming weeks after filling and till then it is advised to avoid too hot or cold food or drinks and also foods that are causing sensitivity.

Biting Difficulty After Filling

Sometimes, the trimming and polishing part is not done accurately, which leaves the filling too high, causing pain and pressure on biting.

This can be corrected by the dentist in no time and will help you to quickly come out of discomfort.

How To Eat After A Filling Without Damaging It?

After a filling, you might feel some discomfort and need to follow the following to get some relief:

  1. Chew on the opposite side of the new filling with minimum pressure
  1. Eat Soft Foods as hard food puts a lot of pressure on the teeth surface causing discomfort to increase.
  1. Do not eat foods that are sticky in nature as it may stick to your new filling and dislodge it. This mostly happens with amalgam fillings.
  1. Eat slowly as this will put less pressure on the tooth and relieve the discomfort.
  1. Do not eat or drink anything that might trigger tooth sensitivity. Too hot, too cold or sugar rich foods and drinks must be kept away from your palate.

All the above tips might relieve the discomfort caused after filling.

However, your dentist is the best person to give you suggestions based on the type of your filling material and your overall oral hygiene.

CONCLUSION 

This blog post addressed the topic, “how long after a filling can you drink tea”. We understood what a dental filling is, how a dental filling is done, types of dental filling materials, comparison between tooth-colored composite and silver fillings and about temporary fillings.

The article outlined symptoms experienced after filling and everything about eating after filling including waiting time and how to eat after filling.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs): How Long After A Filling Can You Drink Tea

How Long Does It Take to Complete A Dental Filling?

It takes almost an hour or less to fill a single cavity.

In case of multiple cavities, the dentist might give you multiple appointments.

What happens when a filling is close to the nerve?

When a filling is close to the nerve, the nerve gets irritated and inflamed, causing tooth sensitivity and pain.

The tooth sensitivity, pain and discomfort caused due to inflammation of the nerves is temporary and will subside in 1-2 weeks.

Why does my tooth with a filling hurt?

It is normal for your tooth to hurt after filling.

The nerves inside the tooth become inflamed after the filling, causing sensitivity and pain.

The pain, sensitivity and pressure on biting will eventually subside in 1-2 weeks.

What Is The Reason For My Uneven Bite After Filling?

It is very common for your teeth to feel uneven after filling.

It happens because the trimming and polishing part is not done accurately, which leaves the filling too high, causing pain and pressure on biting.

This can be corrected by the dentist in no time and will help you to quickly come out of discomfort.

How do I know if I need a root canal after a filling?

After a filling, a sensitive tooth and a little pain and discomfort is normal and is expected to subside and go away in a few days or weeks.

If the tooth and gum sensitivity or sensitivity to food and drinks that are too cold or hot persists for more than 2 weeks, you should consult your dentist.

Toothache upon chewing or biting for more than 2 weeks and tooth discolouration are other signs that indicate a need for root canal therapy.

Other FAQs about Teeth Filling that you may be interested in.

Can I Drink Coffee After A Filling?

Soft Foods To Eat After Tooth Filling

Can You Brush A Temporary Filling

REFERENCES:

Healthline. (2019)

https://www.healthline.com/health/tooth-sensitivity-after-filling

What Is a Filling? Colgate

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/fillings/what-is-a-filling

Dental Health and Tooth Fillings. (2019)

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-fillings

Chewing Tips After A Filling. Colgate

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/fillings/chewing-tips-after-a-filling

Decloux, Derek, and Aviv Ouanounou. “Local anaesthesia in dentistry: a review.” International Dental Journal (2021).

Williamson R. Clinical management of galvanic current between gold and amalgam. Gen Dent. 1996;44(1):70-73.

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