When a New Filling Causes Discomfort

Let’s say you visited your Livonia Dentist to have a cavity filled. Your mouth felt fine (although numb from the Novocain) when you left the office. Later that day, or maybe the next day, however, you begin to feel discomfort at the filling site. If this happens, you may have what is known as a high filling.

Q)        What is a high filing?

A)        A high filling occurs when too much composite resin projects from the tooth cavity.

Q)        How does a high filling happen?

A)        When your dentist is almost done with your filling, he places colored articulation paper in your mouth and asks you to bite down. He then asks if your bite feels comfortable or if the filling is too high.

At that point, your mouth is numb from the medication. You may have difficulty answering the question accurately when you’re not feeling sensations as usual. As a result, you might tell your dentist that your occlusion is fine, when it’s actually off. It’s easy to see, under those circumstances, how you could leave the office with a high filling.

Q)        What are the symptoms of a high filling?

A)        A day or two later, you’ll know if the filling is too high. If it is, you’ll feel the newly filled tooth and the tooth directly above or below it making contact before the rest of your teeth. Your bite is off, and your mouth doesn’t feel right. This sensation can be unpleasant and annoying. Worse, it could cause you moderate to severe pain.

Q)        Why does a high filling hurt?

A)        When you have a high filling, the tooth gets compressed more deeply into the periodontal ligament beneath your teeth whenever you bite down. The periodontal ligament widens and becomes inflamed. You begin to feel tenderness or pain at the site of the new filling.

Q)        How is a high filling fixed?

A)        Call your Livonia dentist, Dr. Stewart, immediately to have your filling adjusted. He’ll ask you to bite down on colored articulation paper to reveal high points on the filled tooth. Dr. Stewart will selectively reduce the high filling and recheck your occlusion. Your tooth will then be smoothed to the proper texture. Having the high filling problem solved quickly will rid you of pain and stop the development of more serious conditions.

Q)        When can I expect tooth pain to stop?

A)        After Dr. Stewart has revised the filling, the periodontal ligament will take from one day to two weeks to heal, depending on the severity of the pain and the time that elapsed before the high filling was modified.

You should feel normal two weeks after a new filling or adjustment. If pain persists, see Dr. Stewart again to rule out the presence of any other problems.

For preventative and restorative dental care, schedule your appointment today by contacting your Livonia dental office at (734)425-4400. We gladly serve patients from Livonia and the surrounding 48151 area, Farmington Hills, Farmington, Plymouth, Northville, Novi, Dearborn Heights, and Dearborn.