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.