The Importance Of Dental Fillings
Very often patients come into our practice seeking urgent relief from pain and dental discomfort. Sometimes the pain has woken them up in the middle of the night and is unbearable. Sometimes patients have deep-rooted decay that they have avoided treatment for because they have an innate fear of the dentist.
We understand how sensitive your teeth and gums might be if you have dental decay but we also need to remind you that there are very important benefits to having your teeth restored. These include
- Removing the infected material from your teeth
- Filling cavities before they get bigger
- Saving your natural tooth so you do not need tooth replacement
Our primary goal is always to save a tooth but untreated tooth decay can get out of control very quickly if left untreated your infection can spread to affect other teeth, gums and even your jaw bone. Cavities can erode your tooth structure too, to the extent that the tooth needs to be capped or even removed.
Very deep infections can affect your dental pulp, resulting in the formation of an abscess, or require you to have a root canal.
How To Manage Tooth Sensitivity After Filling?
If you are feeling sensitive about a filling, remember that we will always use anaesthetic to minimise your pain and discomfort. We won’t start working on your tooth until the area is completely numb and you can only feel pressure and not sensation.
Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity After Dental Fillings
Some degree of tooth sensitivity is relatively normal once the anaesthetic has worn off, and the day after the filling has been done. This is especially true if the infection was very deep or close to the tooth root. If this is the case, you should notice an improvement in the two to three days after the procedure.
Dental Fillings That Are Too High
Sometimes a restoration might be built up too high, causing imbalance pressure when you bite down. This is often difficult to assess when you are still in the chair because of the anaesthetic, but you might notice it later when you get home.
If this is the case, your dentist will be able to file it down for you, to make it more comfortable for your bite.
Tooth Sensitivity Because Of Composite Resin Dental Fillings
Some patients may experience sensitivity reactions to composite resin if they have not had it before. Although it is not common, it is possible and, if it is the cause behind your pain or discomfort your dentist will recommend removing the composite resin and redoing your filling using a different filling material.
Research has shown that sometimes composite resin fillings shrink back ever so slightly, leaving a gap between the filling and the tooth, which allows bacteria or debris to enter.
Sometimes a patient might experience sensitivity in the teeth adjacent to the filled tooth. This is known as referred pain and will also resolve in the days after your restoration.
Infected Tooth Pulp
Sometimes pain might be persistent a few days after the procedure, caused by infected tooth pulp.
If this is the case, you will need to return for a root canal treatment, where your dental pulp will need to be removed and your canals filled with filling material. Your dentist will need to do an x-ray to confirm this.
Tooth sensitivity after dental fillings is not to be expected and in the majority of cases, restorations go ahead smoothly and without complications. If you haven’t had one before or if you have delayed treatment because you fear the pain of dental fillings it’s always a good idea to ask your dentist what to expect afterwards and how long you should wait before making contact with the practice.
Most patients can manage any mild discomfort using over-the-counter painkillers but if you know that you have a low pain threshold it is a good idea to ask your dental practitioner for advice prior to treatment.
The most predictable way to avoid dental decay and the sensitivity it causes is to maintain a strict dental hygiene routine by brushing and flossing twice a day, and visiting your dentist twice a year. You may think you are doing a good job at keeping your mouth clean but your dentist has a better view of what is happening in the back of your mouth and can spot the early signs of decay before they advance and cause pain and discomfort.
To find out more about what are normal parameters for tooth sensitivity after filling please contact us for an appointment: (03) 9626 9581.