Dr Karla feels there are many reasons you may require a filling:
- Decay (Cavity)
- Fractured tooth
- Old Silver Amalgam Filling that is breaking down
- Recurrent Decay (Cavity) around an old filling
I always tell my patients that any time a tooth is drilled on, there is potential for some post operative sensitivity. The more work the tooth requires, or the deeper the cavity, usually results in more sensitivity. The range of sensitivity is different for every patient. In a normal-small to moderate size filling, sensitivity to cold temperatures usually subsides within a couple of weeks. If the temperature sensitivity persists longer than that, it may be normal for you, but should slowly shows signs of improvement. In cases where there was more extensive work done to your tooth, I will inform you that post operative sensitivity is likely and the health of the tooth may need to be monitored over time. Always call the office if you feel anything more than you think you should, or if your symptoms persist for more than a couple of weeks!
Biting sensitivity could be related to the occlusion of your tooth. This means that when the filling was placed, there may be an area that remains “high” or is hitting harder against the opposing tooth. In this case, it may not seem like a big issue at first, but the tooth can (and will) become sore and very sensitive to chewing after a few days. Do not hesitate in these cases to return to the office to have this high spot evaluated and adjusted. It is a very quick and easy adjustment appointment.
In rare cases, post operative sensitivity persists and despite time and adjustments, the symptoms of bite sensitivity and temperature sensitivity never go away. This is usually the case when a cavity was deep and close to the pulp tissue or nerve in the tooth. It can also be the case if this is the second or third time the tooth has been worked on in its lifetime. Nerves can become irritated and inflamed and never recover. I’m always very tentative to jump-in to treatment of the tooth at this point and I usually give the tooth time to recover. However, root canal(s) may be necessary if the pulp irritation is irreversible or the nerve is dying.
We have numerous methods to test the pulp/nerve of the tooth that remains sensitive if your symptoms persist. Call us any time for appointments related to your sensitivity! (253) 857-4114