Have you ever needed to get a filling for a cavity?  It’s actually a very common dental procedure. If you are one of the many Americans that have needed to get a cavity filling, you know how much anxiety and worry they can cause.  They may be the single main cause of the “terror” that is typically associated with going to see the local dentist!

This reaction of trepidation is quite logical because the actual procedure of filling of a cavity can be quite invasive and uncomfortable to the patient.  However, this procedure is so common because of how necessary, effective and important it is in keeping the proper function and aesthetic of many people’s teeth.

A cavity filling is one of the primary procedures that are used to fix tooth decay and infection.  A filling procedure is comprised of the removal of infected and decayed tooth material, a cleaning of the remaining tooth surfaces and then finally, an application of a filling material into the tooth’s missing spaces.  The filling material can be made of tooth-colored composite resins, silver, gold, an amalgam of several different metals or porcelain, depending on the condition of the tooth and any potential allergies that the patient has.  

The cavity filling is used to help re-strengthen the tooth to its previously uninfected state while also preventing further bacteria from entering and growing in the empty spaces, causing a reinfection of the tooth.

A cavity filling is not quite as invasive of a treatment as a root canal procedure because a filling is usually called for when the tooth decay has not become extremely advanced.  However, both procedures reach a similar conclusion: a complete removal of the tooth decay or infection and a full restoration of all of the affected tooth’s functions.

While cavity fillings bring your infected teeth back to their original function and shape, it is very common to deal with some pain or tooth sensitivity after a cavity filling.  But why would your tooth have any strange or painful sensations at all if it has been fixed completely? 

3d render of teeth with different types of dental filling

Well, the truth is that even though your tooth has been fixed, it is different. It is a normal part of the cavity filling healing process to slowly get used to the filling for a few weeks.  However, while your fixed teeth are normalizing, don’t be shocked to feel different types of sensitivity or pain in them.

Teeth with new fillings are usually sensitive to changes in temperature and pressure.  Obviously, the pressures of biting and chewing with the newly-filled tooth can cause discomfort and pain for the first few weeks after it was filled.  However, painful sensations in the mouth can be easily caused by either hot or cold foods/drinks simply touching against the previously infected tooth.  Some cavity fillings are so extensive that even changes in the air temperature can cause pain or sensitivity!

Most of these symptoms usually disappear completely in a few weeks once you get used to your new tooth.  However, if the pain persists you will need to contact your dentist. It is possible that you are allergic to the material that was used in your filling (even though a proper, qualified dentist will painstakingly try to avoid making this mistake) and it is causing inflammation and pain.

Also, it is possible for fillings to come loose or crack. If you feel like this has happened to you, contact your dentist immediately to avoid further damage.

Hopefully, this helps you prepare for any unexpected reactions to your next cavity filling!  If you are in need of a filling for a cavity, have more questions about tooth sensitivity after cavity fillings or have any other questions or concerns about your dental health, please contact our offices at Gables Sedation and Family Dentistry any time that