In May, my dentist placed three small filings with flowable composite. All fillings are on my lower right teeth. Unfortunately, I chew on that side of my mouth, and whenever I’m chewing something hard or crunchy, I feel sharp pain. My dentist replaced the filling with more flowable composite, but I don’t notice any improvement.
My dentist asked me to clench my teeth to see if I feel pain, but I only feel sharp pain with hard or crunchy food. I called my dentist’s office yesterday, and she wants me to return to replace the fillings again. I have no confidence that anything will be different. I’m thinking about calling another dentist and claiming a pain emergency to get these fillings out and replaced with regular composite. I do not want to be dishonest, but when I chew, it feels like an emergency. Before I do switch dentists, I would like to know if you have another suggestion. – Thank you. Kaylie
The sensitivity you describe seems to occur with a small filling that a dentist bonds to a tooth’s dentin—the layer beneath the enamel. Although you are in pain whenever you chew hard or crunchy foods, we do not recommend that you schedule an emergency appointment with a dentist. Even if another dentist replaces your fillings, it does not guarantee that they know how to prevent sensitivity. You need to select a new dentist carefully.
Resolving Pain When Chewing on Teeth with New Fillings
We recommend that you consider two options for resolving pain in your teeth that have new fillings.
- Reschedule with your dentist – You can schedule an appointment with your dentist and explain that you will only accept a new filling if your teeth are primed with a glass ionomer base. The base will protect the dentin and prevent sensitivity.
- Visit an advanced cosmetic dentist – If you are hesitant about your dentist’s ability, you can look for an advanced cosmetic dentist in your area. Dentists with accreditation from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry or the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry passed rigorous tests to demonstrate their skill. A trained cosmetic dentist knows how to prepare your teeth, eliminate sensitivity and pain with new composite fillings, and help you avoid an unnecessary dental emergency.
Dr. David Finley of Monroe, LA, sponsors this post. Dr. Finley is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.