Problems With Fillings

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013, 10:31 pm

Usually there aren’t very many problems with new fillings but older fillings are another story.

When a new filling is placed there may be a little sensitivity at first. You may feel this as sensitivity to air, pressure, temperature or sweet things. Usually this sensitivity goes away on its own after a few weeks. If the tooth is extremely sensitive or if the sensitivity doesn’t go away on its own you should contact your dentist. Here are a few things that might cause this discomfort:

  • If you feel pain when you bite, the filling might be a little too high. Because your bite is tested before the anesthesia has worn off you sometimes don’t notice the bite is off until later. We understand it is hard to test your bite when you can’t feel it! In this case a simple reshaping of the filling will take care of the problem.
  • Toothache type pain may require a root canal. If the decay was very deep then the pulp of the tooth may be involved. After a root canal is completed  a crown is usually needed because of the weakened tooth structure. Don’t be afraid of root canal therapy – with new anesthesia techniques they are a walk in the park!
  • Referred pain means that teeth other than the one with the new filling are feeling discomfort. This does not mean there is also something wrong with those other teeth, it simply means your nerves are passing along the pain signals. This pain should go away on its own.

Older fillings, especially those made from mercury amalgam (silver fillings), have a tendency to break or leak as they age. This type of filling material is 150 year old technology and when it comes into contact with heat and cold it contracts and expands. This causes problems with the filling and can even cause cracks in the tooth. New decay forming under these old leaky fillings is common. Any discomfort from a tooth that has an existing filling should be brought to the attention of your dentist as soon as possible. Early treatment can help save the tooth or possibly help avoid needing a root canal. If your dental floss is being shredded while you are flossing then it is a good bet that you have old fillings in need of replacement even if they are not causing discomfort. Wilbanks Smile Center does not use amalgam restorations.

Untreated tooth decay, especially under an old filling, can infect the pulp of the tooth and cause an abscessed tooth. An abscessed tooth is painful and requires treatment from a dentist. Oral antibiotics alone cannot treat this type of infection. An abscessed tooth that is not treated will cause severe discomfort and the infection can travel from the tooth to other areas of the body causing serious infection and illness.

If you need a new filling or feel that it is time to replace those old mercury silver fillings then please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to schedule a visit.

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Category: cavities, Endodontics


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