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Question
Had some amalgram fillings done a week ago tomorrow. I've noticed a sweet taste coming from the area where the fillings were done.   No sensitivity to hot or cold. And only some discomfort not anything serious as far as pain  
Any ideas why the sweet taste all of a sudden after dental fillings ?

Answer
HI Nancy and thanks for your question.

I must be honest that I have not personally encountered a problem such as yours clinically with amalgam restorations.  the greatest majority of problems are associated either with temperature sensitivity or a metallic taste in the mouth.  One of the obvious causes might be leaking of the filling at the tooth-filling interface, which could result in gradual dissolving of the liner or base used under the amalgam.  There are many materials which are used for liners and/or bases world wide, which vary greatly in the smell and taste and if this material is being dissolved in your saliva, that would alter your taste perception.

Another possibility could be the presence of an active draining infection in or around the newly filled tooth, but your dentist would be in a better position to evaluate and eliminate that as a possible cause.  Also, your absence of any additional clinical signs and symptoms i.t.o pain, fever and swelling make this less likely.  Bare in mind that that it possible to have a dental infection related to a tooth without experiencing any significant symptoms, as long as the infection finds a route via which to drain into the mouth, thereby avoiding any pressure build-up in the area.

If I was you, I would monitor the situation for an additional 2 weeks and report your symptoms to your dentist for further evaluation, should they persist.  Your dentist should just make sure that all the filling is still firmly in place, without any broken off or fractured and with all the margins of the filling still tight and smooth with the tooth surface.  We sometimes find, especially with amalgam fillings which gradually get harder over time, that unintentional or excessive function during the first 3 hours after placement can result in fracture of the filling, which would also allow saliva to to find its way into the tooth.

I hope this helps and wish you a speedy and uneventful resolution of this problem, take care.

Kind regards
Dr Craig Peck  

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Dr Craig W Peck ( B.Med.Sc., B.Ch.D., Clin. Botox, Cosmet. Derm.)

Expertise

I am a General Dental Practitioner, with special interests in Cosmetic Dentistry & facial aesthetics and Periodontology, placing a strong emphasis on the establishment and maintenance of a healthy periodontium (the support structure of the tooth) before cosmetic options are considered. I uphold all principles of prevention above interventional treatment and try as far as possible, to remain conservative in my approach. I believe in detailed, open and honest patient discussion, establishing what the patients expectations are and what the reality is of achieving this and involving the patient at every level of the treatment. I have strong principles on ethical treatment and appropriate patient management. I have chosen to treat and rehabilitate many nervous and phobic patients, who, for whatever reason, find it impossible to take part in the very important task of even a routine check-up. I will accept questions relating to general and cosmetic dentistry (in conjunction with the use of facial cosmetic procedures) and dental fears/phobias. I will be more than willing to answer any academic questions in dentistry, biology, physiology, psychology and health sciences in general. As most dentists will tell you, there is often not only one way of dealing with a dental issue - so very often, there is no precise right and wrong way of approaching the problem. All clinicians vary when it comes to treatments and what works best in their hands is often the treatment that is advised. Be understanding of this and bear in mind that nothing lasts forever! Patients are happy to accept only a one-years warrantee when buying a new car, but seem to expect that dental work is going to last them their lifetime.

Experience

I have worked for many years in the UK and RSA as a general dental practitioner - within the NHS, private practice and the government dental health services. I am certificated for the administration of Botox and Dermal Fillers for facial lines and wrinkles as I have attended further courses in minimally invasive facial cosmetic procedures. I started seeing an increasing number of patients who presented with severe to moderate dental fears, even with full-blown phobias, so I started with the slow and patient task of tackling this problem and have successfully rehabilitated many patients. The key is good, effective, concise and understandable communication, shifting control from the dentist to the patient in order to slowly, but confidently, regain their trust back in dentistry, thereby giving them the feeling of achievement and this self-empowerment which drives them to the next level of treatment.

Organizations
Academy of General Dentistry. American Dental Education Association. IAPAM (International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine). Professional Speakers, Writers and Managements Consultants in Dentistry. The British Dental Association. UK Aesthetics Group. ARC - Aesthetic Professionals. Botox. Aesthetics & Beauty. American Association for Dental Research. FDI - World Dental Federation. SOURCE1uk. World Dental Hygiene Forum. ProDentalCPD. Public Health Dentistry. Dentist Network. LinkedIn. Who's Who of South Africa.

Education/Credentials
B.Med.Sc. Degree (Medical Physiology and Medical Virology; Physiology Cum Laude; Stell 1994). B.Ch.D. Degree (Bachelor of Dental Surgery; Clinical Dentistry Cum Laude; Stell 1997). CPR and CPR-Advanced Courses (2000/2001; UK). Clinical Botox (UK, 2001). Cosmetic Dermatology (Botox and Dermal Fillers; RSA 2011).

Awards and Honors
Placed on the Dean's List at University for academic achievement (1994). Highest achievement in the subject Dental Materials. Medal from 3M and the Radiology Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Dental Radiology and Imaging. Medal from The Periodontal Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Periodontology. Highest achievement for Oral Medicine. Highest achievement in Oral Pathology. Received the DASA (Dental Ass. of South Africa) Gold Medal for highest achieving dental student across the 5 1/2 years of the Degree. Passed the subject, Clinical Dentistry with distinction in final year.

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