Thank you for your time, I hope you can help. I have just been to a new dentist (having moved City) and having not built a relationship of trust with him & due to previous bad experience, am a bit nervous. The dentist treated one area of my mouth which had sensitivity- top row, side teeth - without injections - the dentist drilled out an old filling & replaced it, gave me a new filling on 1 tooth not previously filled, and 3 fillings on the outside of 3 teeth along the gumline. Looking in the mirror the teeth filled centrally still look discoloured underneath the filling. I am nervous and wondering how could the dentist have drilled out all decay, without much pain and no anesthetic?
Thank you again for your time

Hi Holly,

It really is hard for me to answer this question.
Without knowing how deep the previous restoration or decay was, there is no way for me to give you an accurate answer.

What I can say is as follows;
- Sometimes, if the decay or old filling is very superficial, it can be removed without any anesthetic.
- Usually, the fillings near the gumline do not require anesthetic as they are to repair broken enamel and are not always to replace a cavity.
- If the tooth was stained from the old filling, even with a new filling it may still appear discolored. This doesn't mean something is wrong.

I hope this helps somewhat!


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Benjamin Schwartz, DDS FAGD


I can answer a range of questions in dentistry, ranging from cosmetic dentistry, fillings, root canals, and comprehensive treatment. Specifically, my fields of interest are in CEREC technology, Invisalign (Invisable braces), and Endodontics (root canals).


Full time practicing dentist in New York City, treating all phases of adult dental needs. Specific focus on Invisalign cases, Endodontic (root canal) treatment, and CEREC single visit restorations.

Schwartz Benjamin, Boczko Fae, McKeon S. Oral Care For The Elderly. Perspectives in Gerontology December 2006

New York University College of Dentistry - D.D.S.
Woodhull Medical Center, 1 year post-graduate residency program - GPR

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