Pain During Filling – A Reader’s Question

‘Alan’ asks: “Hi, I hope you can help. While having fillings I feel quite a lot of pain, it is like someone holding an ice cube on an open nerve creating a shooting pain (like when an icecream touches a sensitive tooth and you clamp your mouth shut) except it is constant while the filling is completed. It has put be off going in the past and in all honesty I find it much less painful having one removed. I have an appointment soon, please can you advise on any tips to deal with this. Many Thanks”


Hi Alan,

My advice would be to discuss your concerns with your dentist. When getting any fillings done you should not experience any sensitivity. Explain the symptoms you are experiencing and how this is putting you off treatment.

"an image of dental drilling of an old filling"

If a patient of mine feels anything when getting such work done, I stop immediately, apply more anaesthetic and wait. It is true that some patients can be hard to ‘numb up’.  But rarely do I come across someone who cannot be anesthetized every time they attend. There are various reasons why some people are harder to ‘freeze’ than others and you are obviously amongst the unfortunate ones. But as I say, this should not mean you have to put up with the pain every time.

As I say, discuss this with your dentist.  Maybe ‘gas and air’, IV sedation or another type of sedation will help with any pain during the filling procedure. Although sedation doesn’t anesthetize you as such, it can lower your pain threshold greatly and make things a lot more comfortable.

The worst thing you can do is let this put you off, as in the end it is you who will suffer. If you don’t get fillings done, then of course the problem will only get worse.

Hope this helps


Further reading:

Complete guide to dental fillings.


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