Where There Is No Dentist 2012 151
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
• 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 (page 93).
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 (see page 89).
Finally wrap the instruments together in a clean cloth so they are ready for
use when you need them again.
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 (see the next page) 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.