Post-Operative Instructions For Composite Resin or Glass Ionomer Fillings

Post Operative Guidelines

The resin (tooth-coloured filling) or glass ionomer material used contains small “filler” particles for strength and wear resistance. We expect these restorations to serve you well for several years. They contain the finest and most up to date materials available today.

Printable PDF Version


If we used a local anesthetic, this numbness in your lips, teeth and tongue might last for several hours. To avoid damage to your tongue and lips, you should avoid any chewing or hot liquids until the numbness has completely worn off.


It is normal to experience some sensitivity to heat, cold and pressure after your appointment. This will persist until the repair process can catch up to the effects of the bacteria. This sensitivity can last from several days to several weeks. Usually, the bigger the cavity, the longer the sensitivity you will experience.


You can expect some soreness in your gums for several days. If your gums are sore, rinse three times a day with warm salt water to reduce pain and swelling.

Home Care

Brush and floss your teeth after the local anesthetic has worn off. It is a good idea to use a sensitivity toothpaste (Sensodyne). Refrain from using whitening products as they can increase sensitivity. Be sure your toothpaste contains fluoride to protect around your fillings and floss daily to avoid getting recurrent decay around your fillings.


White fillings set completely immediately after they are placed, so as soon as the numbness wears off, you can chew as you would normally. Due to the effects of the local anesthesia, it is quite difficult to make sure that your bite is exactly right. If you feel any discomfort in chewing, please let us know. A minor adjustment is usually all it takes to make you comfortable. Don’t wait too long. Teeth can become quite sensitive if the bite is “high.”

Possible Future Treatments

Crown: When restorations are very large, the tooth may become weak and possibly fracture over time. This is why we recommend crowns for large restorations. A crown gives the tooth complete coverage and strength.

Root Canal: The depth of the decay may cause the nerve to become exposed. If the decay was to the nerve, a medication may be placed on the exposure site. It is probable that a root canal will be needed at some time in the future. If there was a near exposure, medication was also placed on the site, but there is a reduced possibility of future root canal treatment.

Call the office if you have pain in the tooth/teeth that wakes you up at night or if your cheeks or face become swollen.