Hesperian Health Guides

After You Finish Placing the Filling

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HealthWiki > Where There Is No Dentist > Chapter 10: How to Fill a Cavity > After You Finish Placing the Filling


Explain to the person how to take care of the filling so it will not break:

  • Do not eat or drink anything for 1 hour — let the filling get hard and strong.
  • Try not to use that tooth for biting or chewing after getting a cement filling. Until there is a permanent filling, the cement and sides of the cavity are weak. They cannot take much pressure.


If the tooth hurts more after you place the filling, there is probably an abscess. Take out the tooth. If you cannot take out the tooth immediately because of swelling, take out the filling to relieve the pressure, and take out the tooth after you treat the swelling.

Clean your instruments after you finish

First scrape the dried filling from the tools. Then, after you scrub them with soap and water, leave them for 20 minutes in disinfectant. Finally wrap the instruments together in a clean cloth so they are ready for use when you need them again.

illustration of the above: cleaning, disinfecting, and wrapping tools.

REMEMBER: A cement filling is only a temporary measure. A good one can last up to 6 months. During this time, the person must see a dental worker who has the equipment to put in a permanent filling using ART or a dental drill. For this, the person may have to travel to a dental clinic, or wait for a dental worker to visit your area.



This page was updated:19 Feb 2018