So your dentist recommended you have a filling done, but now a tooth that didn’t bother you before is hurting! Yikes!
Before you start panicking there are a few reasons this could happen. Firstly – is the pain you are experiencing upon biting or chewing? or is it a constant ache?
Pain with biting/chewing
If the pain/sensitivity is with biting or chewing, chances are your filling needs a slight adjustment! When the dentist checks your bite after performing a filling, sometimes you’re so frozen it’s hard to get a good idea if your bite feels “normal” or not. Even the slightest bit of filling material being too high, or left over bonding agent can cause sensitivity with biting if you have a “tight” bite.
Typically, we can see you the same day for a quick appointment (that requires no freezing) to adjust the filling.
If your pain is more of a constant ache there are two possible issues. Your pain may be associated with the injection site for the anesthetic. Some people are very sensitive to freezing and can experience and ache/bruised feeling in their jaw from the anesthetic – especially in the lower jaw. The best course of action is to wait a day or two to see if the ache gets better.
The other possibility with a constant ache is that the decay was much deeper than expected. While we always try our best to prevent a tooth from needing a root canal, sometimes the decay is so deep we have no choice. When Dr. Ross performs a filling where the decay is deep in the tooth, he will often place a medication to desensitize the tooth and help it “calm down”. If this doesn’t work, a root canal may be the best course of treatment to fix the tooth.