1. Most minor pain and sensitivity issues resolve automatically without any additional treatment. You leave the dental office all numbed up feeling confident, until the numbness vanishes and the pain or sensitivity starts to kick in. Being slightly sensitive on a tooth is not that uncommon, especially if you received white fillings or multiple fillings in one setting. If you want to expedite the healing process then stick with a soft diet, consider using a desensitizing toothpaste and wait several days to see if your symptoms improve. If the symptoms are improving then continue to monitoring it and allow some more time to see if it disappears altogether. But if the symptoms remain consistent or worsen, then it is time to call your dentist and make a followup appointment.
2. Redoing the entire filling rarely helps and usually only makes matters worse. When a filling ends up being sensitive or painful you may automatically think that it wasn’t done correctly and needs to be redone. And if there is a portion of the filling missing, if it is overfilled or underfilled, then it does need to be repaired or redone. But to take out an entire filling, drill the tooth more and place a whole new filling, it will almost always make the problem worsen. When the filling becomes larger it only gets closer to the tooth nerve and increases your symptoms. So if the filling is not too high nor too low and if it looks good and feels intact, then allow it some time to see if the symptoms improve before deciding to go back to your dentist for what could possibly end up being lots of headaches!
3. You need to gather some relevant information to convey to your dentist to help him or her reach the correct diagnosis. In order for your dentist to fix the problem, he or she must first correctly diagnose the source of pain. A troublesome filling could be fixed either via repairing the filling or it may require a crown or root canal instead. Your pain symptoms, level of pain, aggravating factors, etc. are all hints that help your dentist come to an accurate diagnosis. Allowing some time to determine which tooth is bothering you and what its symptoms are, will help avoid getting unnecessary treatments or fixing the wrong tooth. Try not to panic and wait a while to see what is really going on with the tooth before contacting your dentist. Unless of course the pain is severe and throbbing in which case waiting is not required and you most likely have nerve damage which will in turn require a root canal treatment.