Do Dental Fillings Hurt – What Can I Expect?

do dental fillings hurtOne of the first questions we’re asked after telling a patient they have a cavity is “do dental fillings hurt?”

Here at Chesterfield Dentistry, our caring dental team ensure that patients have a positive and comfortable experience. 

So, what are dental fillings and when are they needed?

Dental fillings are commonly used to repair teeth that are decayed or have a visible cavity. The procedure involves removing any decayed or damaged material, cleaning the cavity, and filling it with durable composite material to restore both aesthetic and function

Getting to grips with dental pain

Pain is nature’s way of telling you that something is wrong inside your body. A tooth with a particularly deep cavity may feel sensitive and ache and often it’s the thought that getting it filled may cause even more discomfort that puts patients off getting treatment.

When you feel like this, it’s important to know that dental fillings are always in the best interest of the patient and their tooth. Not only does a filling relieve a patient’s pain but it restores the tooth to its full function.  

Do dental fillings hurt?

Our dentist will perform a thorough examination and may even take some x-rays to ascertain the cause of discomfort and the severity of your condition.

Before carrying out any treatment you will be given a local anaesthetic to numb the area of the mouth to be worked on. Only once the mouth is totally numb will we make a start.

With the composite fillings that we provide for patients, less tooth structure needs to be removed and less drilling is required which makes the procedure more comfortable. Although you may feel slight pressure, you should not feel any pain.

What to expect after tooth fillings

Once you have returned to work or arrived back home and the numbness wears off, it’s normal for the mouth to feel a little tender and sore. It’s perfectly fine to take over the counter painkillers to help ease any discomfort you may be experiencing but please follow the dosage instructions on the box.

Why does it feel sensitive?

If your dental filling has been carried out close to the tooth root, this is the likely cause of sensitivity. Generally speaking, any pain that you felt when you walked into our waiting room should be better – not worse.

Should your filling feel uncomfortable then please get in touch with our dentist right away. Sometimes it’s the case that a dental filling has been placed too high and this is putting pressure on the bite.

Often, it’s not until the anesthetic has worn off that a patient realises that their bite doesn’t feel quite right. Don’t worry, it’s easy to fix as the dentist will file it down a little to achieve a better fit within your bite.

Potential problems with dental fillings

Modern composite tooth fillings should last for around 10 years although there will come a point when they need replacement. Most people prefer nowadays not to have amalgam fillings and will often ask us to replace their old fillings with ‘invisible’ tooth-colored fillings.

Modern-day composite fillings are now almost as strong as the old amalgam fillings and can be used to fill cavities in back molars. Our dentist is happy to address any concerns you may have about either material.

Do dental fillings hurt when they’re replaced?

Dental fillings should never hurt when they’re replaced since patients will always be given a local anaesthetic to ease any discomfort.  

There are a few potential problems with dental fillings, namely:

  • Fillings can crack, fall out or break – This may happen when biting into food such as a nut that is harder than expected. Or it can be caused by an injury or blow to the mouth when playing contact sports, for example. This is why it’s important to protect teeth with a mouthguard when doing anything physical that could place the teeth in danger. It’s vital to seek dental treatment fast to prevent infection and to stop the damage from worsening.
  • A space between the filling and the tooth – Sometimes space may form between the tooth and the filling creating a tiny opening that bacteria can access. While it’s not physically visible it may show up on a dental x-ray.

It’s far better to undergo a dental filling than it is to live with a cavity. Delaying treatment will only make matters worse as tooth decay or infection could spread to the inner pulp and then you may need root canal treatment or risk the loss of your tooth.

Hopefully, that has answered your question “do dental fillings hurt?”

Don’t put off tooth fillings

Getting treatment as soon as possible is vital to prevent decay and bacteria from spreading and causing pain. If you haven’t had a dental check-up in a while or you suspect you may have a cavity come and talk to the friendly team at Chesterfield Dentistry. Call on (314) 469 6429 to schedule a consultation or book online