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What to do If You are Having Pain After a Filling: Wait a Little First

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.

NEXT >> How to Decide
What to do If You are Having Pain After a Filling: Go to the Dentist

What to do if You Are Having Pain After a Filling: How to Decide

How to Decide

Answer the following questions:

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10 would you say the pain is greater than an 8?
  2. Have you taken a painkiller for the pain because it was too painful?
  3. Does the pain last for more than 5 minutes?
  4. When you bite down, do you feel that you are hitting a lot more on the new filling?
  5. Do you feel that the filling is too shallow or hallow?
  6. Do you feel there is a piece of the filling broken or missing?
  7. If it has been more than a week, is the pain the same or worse than when you first received the fillings?

If you answered “yes” to most of the above questions then you should probably consider going back to the dentist for an adjustment to your fillings. Fillings that hurt a lot won’t resolve by themselves. Also if your filling is broken, too high or too low, it will also require further adjustments from the dentist otherwise it may worsen.

If you  answered “no” to most of the above questions then you are probably a good candidate for waiting a bit  longer to see if the pain symptoms improve on its own. Some fillings may be slightly sensitive for a few week or months before the symptoms fully resolve.

Final Thought

Whenever you receive a filling it is not uncommon to experience some tooth sensitivity which may last a short while and usually disappears on its own. If your sensitivity is minor, lasting for only several seconds with low grade pain, then give it some time to see if it resolves automatically. If the pain does not resolve after a few weeks, then go back to your dentist to have it accessed further.

Panicking early on can sometimes cause your dentist to panic as well and perform more aggressive treatments, whereas had you waited for a short while longer the symptoms would have improved and you could’ve avoided an otherwise unnecessary root canal or crown. Use this waiting period wisely to determine the symptoms of your pain so you can better communicate them to your dentist. Try to be as specific as possible, by pointing to the areas of the tooth that cause the most pain, explaining the pain symptoms, describing when the pain or sensitivity is worse, etc. This will really aid your dentist in making the correct diagnosis. Keep in mind that your goal should be to try and get away with a minor repair or adjustment if possible rather than a crown or root canal.

If you present to the dentist with a cracked tooth or a deep cavity that has already encroached on your tooth nerve then you require either a crown or a root canal respectively. If your dentist misdiagnoses the condition and performs a filling instead, this will not help and can actually exacerbate the pain and makes matters worse. The more seasoned dentists are better at identifying these scenarios as they have learned through trial and error when these larger fillings are going to become problematic. But it is impossible to determine for certain if you will have a problem and fact remains that anytime a filling is done it could end up in a root canal.

NEXT >> What to do If You are Having Pain After a Filling: Go to the Dentist

What to do If You are Having Pain After a Filling: Wait a Little First

What to do If You are Having Pain After a Filling: Go to the Dentist

You just got back from the dentist and received a brand new filling or had an old one replaced. But now you are experiencing sensitivity or pain on one ot two of the teeth that were just filled. You hope that the tooth sensitivity will end up resolving on its and that you won’t require another trip back to the dentist for it. But will the pain go away? Sometimes then pain does get better after a whil but there are occasions where the pain will not subside and the tooth may end up requiring a crown or a root canal! So what should you do? Is it best to go and see the dentist right away before the situation worsens or should you wait a little to see if it resolves on its own?

Pros of Going to the Dentist

1. An overfilled or underfilled filling must be fixed by your dentist. Once you are done receiving a filling, the dentist has you bite down on a piece of paper to check your bite and makes the necessary adjustments. The problem is that you because you are still numb you might not be able to tell if your bite is even or not at this point.

  • Overfilled teeth. If a filling is left too high you will be hitting more on this one tooth than the other teeth when you bite down. This could lead to sensitivity or pain when chewing on the tooth. It could even cause the tooth to crack or fracture if not fixed in time.
  • Underfilled teeth. These are much harder to diagnose than overfilled teeth. If you notice the tooth feeling hollow and tender upon biting but the filling is not high, then there is a chance that the tooth was underfilled. Not having enough filling material will irritate the tooth and needs to be fixed.

If you feel that your tooth is overfilled or underfilled, return to your dentist to have it fixed right away. If it is just slightly off it may fix itself automatically on its own after several days. But if not then you must return to your dentist to have the filling adjusted and postponing this may end up leading to a fractured tooth or other serious issues.

2. If the filling falls off, breaks or has a leak it must be fixed by your dentist. A portion or all of the filling may fall off due to some technical difficulties when placing the filling in the tooth. If you notice a piece of the filling missing, a leak or any other issues with your filling, then go back to your dentist and have it repaired. Don’t panic should this happen as this is more common than you think and is typically an easy fix.

helpful hint – Should one of your fillings fail, consider visiting your dentist as soon as possible, ideally within a few days to a week. Chances are the dentist can simply fix the problem by adding the missing portion and repairing it without even requiring any shots or painful drilling. If you delay repairing the filling for several months then the defect will start to develop a cavity. You will most likely have to receive several shots at this point and endure additional drilling and pain which could’ve otherwise been avoided. In fact waiting for too long can lead up to an infection or root canal, so avoid procrastinating as it will create more serious issues!

3. If you are experiencing severe pain this won’t resolve on its own. Minor pain and sensitivities are a common occurrence after having fillings done and will typically improve after several days or weeks. This refers to minor sensitivity issues to hot and cold or biting which only last for a few seconds or and occur once in a while. But the more lingering, throbbing and severe pain is a sign of something more serious and almost never resolves on its own. If you are experiencing this type of pain then you probably require either a crown or most likely a root canal to fix the problem.

  • A crown will help when the pain is mild or moderate and the tooth is hurting because the filling is too large and underminds the tooth
  • A root canal is required when the pain is more severe and lingering since this means that the nerves were damaged

Your dentist can determine which treatment is more appropriate. Regardless, when pain symptoms are more advanced you are almost always looking at additional treatments and it is never as simple as redoing the filling.

Helpful hint – As a rule of thumb, if you ever have to resort to taking painkillers for a toothache then the nerve is most likely damaged and you probably require a root canal treatment. There is no point to waiting as nerve damage is irreversible and you should contact your dentist right away.

NEXT >> Wait a Little First
What to do if You Are Having Pain After a Filling: How to Decide