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I felt it necessary to write this entry…‘what to expect after a filling is done’, because people tend to get a little discouraged if they have some sensitivity with a tooth which they didn’t have before their filling was done. I wanted to explain the reasoning behind this.
As mentioned in previous blogs, in the center of the tooth, there is a pulp chamber which houses the nerve and blood vessels of the tooth. When a tooth is drilled in to, the drilling and ‘scraping’ that is needed to remove the decay (cavity), makes the nerve ‘excited’. The nerve becomes agitated and aggravated and this shows up in two basic ways in terms of the symptoms that the patient experiences.
1) Sensitivity to cold: when you drink something cold the tooth may be a little sensitive initially.
2) Sensitivity upon chewing: when you eat something, the tooth may be a little sensitive when you bite on it.
But, these symptoms will go away as the nerve inside of the tooth calms down. It is basically a function of how long it takes for the nerve to calm down and this depends on a few factors. The most important one is, how big and deep the cavity is to begin with. The bigger the cavity→the more drilling and ‘scraping’ that is needed to remove it→the more ‘insult’ to the nerve→the longer it will take for it to calm down. In time, the majority of teeth calm down.
However, in some instances with deeper tooth fillings, if the sensitivity goes on for awhile, and the patient is having a hard time coping with this, it is possible to remove the filling and place a temporary sedative filling in it . These temporary fillings have sedative properties that help the tooth to calm down.
From personal experience
I would say that in a period of a year, it may arise that I have to remove a tooth filling that I’ve placed, approximately 1 or 2 times, for the reason that the patient’s sensitivity did not go away. So, I replace the permanent filling with a temporary filling and leave it for about 6-9 months. This (small) amount of cases per year is really not considered substantial considering that I place hundreds of fillings a year.
Therefore if you have sensitivity after a filling is done, don’t fret…it will feel better in time and remember…there is always a light at the end of the tunnel!
Call us today at (905) 791-3867 for the best in tooth fillings and temporary fillings. You’ll be glad you did.
About Dr. Axelrad
One of Brampton’s most recommended dentists, Dr. Robert Axelrad has owned and managed his own dental practice since 1997. Affectionately known by his patients as Brampton’s Gentle Dentist, he moved his practice to its current, state-of-the-art dental office in Brampton, Ontario in 2002 to accommodate his growing list of happy patients.