I’m having a problem with my new white fillings. I wanted white fillings after seeing how great my wife’s looked, but my dentist seemed reluctant. A week ago, I had two done but now have constant aching on that side of my mouth. My dentist did warn me about the possibility of infection from saliva and wasn’t 100% on board with doing the white fillings. The procedure was painful, and now I have this constant aching. I am wondering if this will clear up on its own, or should I go back in? I have been using Advil for the pain. I’m not sure I want to call this dentist back. What would you recommend?
Dave D. from Illinois
This is something you have to be very careful with—asking your dentist to do some procedure that they haven’t suggested. What happens is that your dentist may not be comfortable doing that procedure, but doesn’t want to say that. When you think about it, that’s an understandable approach. Dentists are taught in school that they need to approach their patients with confidence to minimize the patient’s anxiety. So to respond to you, they go outside their comfort zone and don’t share the discomfort with you.
From what you’ve told me, it appears that your dentist wasn’t familiar with the proper procedures for doing white fillings. I’m saying that because of how he or she tried to discourage you from doing the white fillings. When white fillings are done properly, there is no contamination from saliva. When dentists know how to do them properly, they much prefer the white fillings to the old silver/mercury amalgam fillings.
Here are some possible causes for the pain you are feeling after these new white fillings:
- As your dentist explained, the cavity could be contaminated with saliva during the filling procedure.
- The filling wasn’t properly bonded to the tooth for other reasons.
- The filling material wasn’t completely cured.
- The filling material was inserted in bulk and cured in one piece, causing it to shrink and put stress on the tooth.
I always recommend that if your dentist is reluctant to do something, it’s not a good idea to push them. Instead, it’s best to find a dentist that is comfortable with the procedure and has the training. Often dentists like this will mention on the website that they are a mercury-free dentist.
I would recommend that you have the fillings replaced by a dentist that knows how to do them properly. The problem is that if there was contamination during the bonding process, the bacteria was allowed in the little tubules of the dentin of your teeth. The filling is also not sealed against continual contamination and further problems. This could lead to further harming your teeth. Most dental insurance won’t cover replacing recently placed fillings, but I would highly recommend doing it anyway.
Best of Luck!
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