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Dentistry/Tooth Pain nearly 3 months after filling.



I am aware that without seeing my xrays your help will be limited but I was hoping to get some advice on a tooth.

I received a very shallow filling on three surfaces on tooth #13 on August 17th. After receiving my filling the sensitivity in my tooth rose dramatically and it began to hurt when hit in the wrong spot. I returned to my dentist a month after and after taking an xray I was told they see nothing wrong with the tooth.

Over the next few weeks the pain got worse and it hurt to eat on that side of my mouth so I returned yet again. This time they said tooth #16 looked odd at the root (something about a light circle around it) and that it could be projected pain but I had a root canal done to that tooth and have not felt any pain in the area since. They test my bite and find my teeth are putting pressure on the filling and fix that.

I wait a few weeks and although the pain occurs less, when ever I would hit a certain spot on the bottom of my tooth I would feel a sharp pain. Since I have had a root canal before I knew what if felt like to have an infected pulp and this feeling is different. It is similar to pinching a nerve, almost as though the filling was pressing a nerve.

I returned to the dentist yet again and had a second xray done. They again said the pulp looked fine and the filling was too shallow to be giving me that pain. They decide to have the filling removed and then replaced. After being numbed once they had to stop to numb me a second time because I still felt the pain in the tooth. Even after a second numbing I have never felt a filling hurt more (I have had over 13 fillings the past 3 years -__-  ). Again it was a similar feeling to someone pushing on a nerve and my tooth was so sensitive that even the blown air from her tool hurt. They placed some medicine and a temporary filling and told me to return in two weeks to get a new permanent filling.

Last night the temporary filling fell out and I had it replaced this morning. By this point this tooth has been messed with so much that it is just plain killing me. The dentist said to go to a root canal specialist because she has no idea what could be causing it.

This has been the tooth from hell and I have no money at this point to even afford a second opinion better yet a root canal on a tooth that has no decay, no infection, and very shallow fillings that should not be causing this amount of pain.

Is there something they could be missing? I am just exhausted at this point and any advice you could give would be ABSOLUTELY incredible. Thank you so much!!!

Hi Micah,

I'm sorry all this is going on. You're right it is very hard for me to give you good advice without being able to exam you. However, I can tell you a few things about your tooth. First, it is NOT abscessed. When you have an abscessed tooth, it will not feel hot & cold because the nerve has died. Your tooth has a VERY inflamed and sensitive nerve that is still alive which is why it is so sensitive to air. So what is causing it? It may have started with the filling being high and you biting on it excessively. That often irritates the pulp. Now, after all the "fiddling around" it is really sore. If you can now clack your teeth together and holding them together, slide from side to side without pain, your bite is OK. If it causes pain, then your bite is still off and needs adjustment. The other thing we often see if that there may be a crack in the tooth. If that is the problem, it's harder to diagnosis, but usually is pain when you bite in just one spot. If that's the case, you will probably need a crown and maybe even a root canal. Now the problem is making a good diagnosis. Unfortunately, the endodontist is your best bet to help you resolve this for good.

Hope this helps.

Gary Backlund DMD, MSD


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Gary Backlund, DMD, MSD


I am an Endodontist ( root canal specialist ) and can answer questions about root canals and their treatment. I cannot diagnose or treat online, but can answer general questions. I have been a specialist for 25 years and am Past President of the Washington State Association of Endodontists.


25 years practicing as a specialist

American Association of Endodonists, Past President Washington State Association of Endodontists.

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