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Question
I went until my mid 30's until I got my first cavity. The 1st filling had no problems. When I went to my last appt, I had 5!! Not sure what's going on with my teeth but I have little experience with fillings. On 2/14, I got the 5 fillings done. Sorry I don't know the name but it's white colored filling. If it matters, ther are all my 2nd, 3rd or 4th teeth from the back. Three on top left, one on top right and one on bottom left. They are all in between the teeth on the inside, near the tongue. The dentist I had is new to the practice. I was seen by him as I do not have faith in the father/son who own the practice. The son did a poor job on my husband and did not get all of a cavity out on a filling resulting in a subsequent root canal as well as other problems at different times.  Basically, I probably just need to go somewhere else. Anyway . . . this gentleman was very nice and tried to answer my questions. He was talking to the hygeneist during the procedure about some method he uses to get  really tight seals and minimal gaps between teeth (and a bunch of other things my non technical background could not follow). Following the fillings, I had a lot of pain in the filled teeth as well as teeth elsewhere in my mouth (not just neighboring ones). The floss was also shredding horribly and could not even get into some spots that had work done. I went back on 2/20. He found indeed there was a spot where he had not left a gap (from the compound) between two of the teeth so I could not get the floss through it. He used the sandpaper floss and some other tools to smooth some stuff down, break off a protruding nub, etc. He also found my bite was off and worked some of the teeth down. He said I could some back in 2 weeks if there were still problems. As of today, 3/3,I am still having intermittent pain in some teeth and I am still shredding floss in 3 spots. I do believe there is one spot in particular where the bite needs to be worked down a bit more to help with the tooth pain I am having. I have also had some sweets/cold sensitivity at times. All of these are issues I was not having prior to my dental work. I guess my question is whether or not it is normal to have these kinds of complications and to have to go back twice? He said he wants to be careful to not wear things done too much as he might have to put in a new filling then. I'm nervous that if he is maybe not too skilled of a dentist, I don't want him to mess around with my teeth more. Or are all these complications very par for the course? Thanks for any advice and thoughts you can share!

Answer
Hi Marie,

Sorry to hear about this.

Depending on the size of the filling, and the sheer number of fillings that you had at one visit, it is not uncommon to need to return for further adjustments.

The bite should be addressed ASAP, as this will only cause increased pain if not remedied. Often, when you are numb in many different parts of the mouth, it is difficult to gauge the proper bite. So you should return for this to be adjusted.

As for the floss shredding, this can be because the fillings were initially made tight between the teeth. This is actually better than them being too loose, as otherwise you will constantly trap food in-between the teeth. When you return to have the bite adjusted, you can see if the dentist can smooth down in between the teeth a little more.

While this is not want any dentist wants, it does happen from time to time and it doesn't sound like anything was done wrong technically.

As for the cavities, make sure you are using an ADA approved toothpaste and a mouthwash such as ACT that has extra fluoride in it.

Good luck and let me know if you need anything further!

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Benjamin Schwartz, DDS FAGD

Expertise

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).

Experience

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.

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

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

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