How to Maintain Good Dental Health

Tooth Sensitivity After a Filling

Fillings are one of the most common dental services you could need. But what happens when something about the tooth doesn't quite feel right after the process has been completed? Is it possible for a filling to fail?

Down the Track

A filling can certainly fail further along the track, but this is generally caused by further decay of the surrounding tooth structure which weakens the filling and causes it to fall out. A high standard of oral hygiene can help you to avoid this.

Some dental procedures (such as tooth polishing) can inadvertently damage restoration work, but your dentist will take the utmost care to prevent this. Still, if you happen to change dentists, ensure they know about the restoration work present in your teeth.

These are potential complications that can occur years after the cavity has been filled. What about when the tooth begins to feel strange in the days or weeks immediately after you've received the filling?

Nerve Aggravation

It's fairly unlikely, but the filling can aggravate the dental pulp inside the tooth. This is the nerve present inside every tooth and housed inside the pulp chamber. If the decay of your tooth has caused a breach of this pulp chamber, the nerve can become irritated by the presence of the restoration material. It probably won't be painful as such, but the tooth can feel overly sensitive, even slightly irritated. There might be a noticeable reaction to foods and drinks of extreme temperatures (something particularly hot or cold).

What do you need to do if this starts to occur after your cavity has been filled?

You Have Options

Don't panic. There might be a brief period of adjustment and aggravation which can easily dissipate of its own accord. This means that the nerve has been irritated, but not damaged, so it's unlikely that any further intervention will be necessary. If the issue doesn't subside, then make an appointment with your dentist. They will need to examine the filling and the depth to which it has entered the tooth. An X-ray or radiography scan might be warranted.

Your dentist should have some options for you after they perform some testing. The options may involve removing and replacing the filling a different restoration material and depth (if the structural integrity of the tooth can be maintained). In some cases, a root canal might be suggested.

The risk of something going wrong with a filling is low, and any sensitivity that arises will probably fade away of its own accord. But when the filling might cause an ongoing issue, you certainly have solutions to work with. Contact local dental services if your filling needs to be addressed.