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Conflicting Advice on Refilling Painful Tooth

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Old 09-04-2008, 10:46 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Somewhere, FL, USA
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chuckG HB User
Conflicting Advice on Refilling Painful Tooth

I recently decided to have some of my amalgam fillings replaced with composites. I did 5 teeth on the right side about 3 weeks ago. Almost immediately, I began to experience pain when chewing. I went in for a bite adjustment and that helped. But there's still some pain when I eat things that are tough and chewy or hard and crunchy like beef and nuts. The pain seems to specifically arise when the filling itself --rather than the rest of the tooth -- is stimulated. It's kind of like unexpectedly chomping down on a bit of bone while eating chicken, except that it may last for an hour or two so after along with some cold senstivity. There's sometimes also sensitivity to very (boiling) hot things.

It's gotten a little bit better the last day or two. But I also feel like some of the fillings have "settled" or compressed a little bit for lack of better words. This makes me concerned that maybe the filings weren't cured or bonded properly. I have consulted with two dentists about this who've given conflicting advice.

First, is the cosmetic dentist who did the restorations. He seems to think that is a problem with the material (maybe code for the method as well?) and suggests re-filling the teeth if this doesn't get better once the six week mark hits. This would be free of charge, so there is no conflict of interest there.

Second is my regular DDS, who says that the fillings look fine. He thinks that it's just that the pulp is irritated and suggests waiting it out for six months while using a fluoride rinse to strengthen the enamel.

I am not sure which opinion to trust here. I've scheduled an appt for a third opinion, but I would appreciate hearing any thoughts you might have.

Also, is there any way to tell, short of refilling the tooth, whether there is a problem with the bonding of an existing filling?


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Old 09-04-2008, 08:59 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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drumgirl7 HB User
Re: Conflicting Advice on Refilling Painful Tooth

I would give it some more time. Personally, although some people seem to think that amalgam fillings are "evil", I think the more you mess with a tooth, the more trouble it can be. In other words, leave well enough alone. I've read that cold sensitivity is very much the norm with these composite fillings, and that they are very "technique sensitive". Hopefully whoever placed them had up to date training on that specific procedure. The pulp probably needs more settling time, but it is possible for teeth to develop "irreversible pulpitis" which is where they never settle down. But I wouldn't worry about that yet, Wait a few more weeks and see...Maybe use Sensodyne while you're at it.

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