After a filling has been placed, there are a few ‘teething’ problems that might occur in the short-term. There are also problems that might occur in the longer term. Tooth pain after filling placement is a common problem, but there are other problems that might occur.
6 Problems That Can Occur Shortly After A Filling:
The following list includes a brief summary of potential problems that can occur after having a dental filling placed
1. Tooth pain and sensitivity
Tooth pain after filling placement, or sensitivity, is a common problem in the days and weeks after one is placed. Air, heat, cold and sweet things can all trigger the pain and sensitivity.
The pain will usually be worse with deeper fillings that are close to the nerve. Your dentist will usually advise you if this is likely to happen. It is nothing to be worried about so long as the pain gets better after a week or two. If a tooth pain after filling persists beyond two weeks or is at any stage severe, contact your dentist.
The tooth may need to be re-filled using a different material and/or a different lining. The dentist may decide to place a soothing temporary restoration first. If the filling is very deep and nothing else settles the pain, a root canal treatment may be necessary.
See our page on tips on dealing with any toothache at home.
2. Tooth feels different when biting
Your dentist will check your bite before finishing the procedure. However sometimes it may be left a little bit ‘high’ inadvertently. This may only become apparent after the local anesthetic wears off or after chewing in a particular way.
Contact your dentist. The restoration will need readjusting to prevent further problems.
3. Tooth pain/discomfort on biting
This again can be a short-term reaction to a deep filling. It may indicate nerve damage however, so if in doubt go to your dentist.
4. A sharp shock on biting
This may indicate a reaction between two metals in your mouth, and is known as ‘galvanic shock’. This is common where a gold crown contacts an amalgam. It should get better over time but attend your dentist if you have any concerns.
5. The filling feels sharp
A new filling might feel sharp against your tongue/ cheek. This is common as your tongue is more sensitive to changes than the dentists eyes are! Such problems may only become apparent after the local anesthetic wears off. Contact your dentist to have any rough/sharp edges smoothed off.
6. Allergy to a filling
This is very rare. Less than 1% of people have a proven allergy to something in amalgam fillings. The symptoms include itchiness, redness or a rash on the gum/cheek beside a tooth that is filled.
Common Problems That Can Occur Long-term After A Filling:
Here are several problems that can occur with any filling in the long-term. These are summary tips only. For more detailed advice see our page on reasons why a filling might need replaced.
- Cracking/wearing down of the restoration. Fillings are not as strong as enamel and therefore are more at risk of breaking/wearing away over time.
- Lost fillings. Fillings can fall out at any time. This is more likely to happen if the:
-Underlying tooth is decayed.
-Tooth cracks or breaks.
-Filling is large.
-Or is at the front of the mouth.
-Or is under stress because you grind or clench your teeth.
- Decay. A tooth that has decayed before and has been filled is at risk of further decay if you do not look after it. If a filling cracks and you are not aware of this, food and plaque can gather in the space and the tooth can decay very quickly.
Visiting your dentist regularly will enable him/her to check for any decay or early signs of damage.
Also attend your dentist if you are experiencing any problems such as a crack in the filling or if the tooth is sensitive.
There are several potential problems that you may have immediately after a restoration is placed. These can include tooth pain after fillings and other ‘bedding-in’ problems that will clear up over a few days or weeks. In the case of pain or other problems that persist longer, contact your dentist.
If you are experiencing pain after having a filling, read this article on dealing with a toothache at home.