Dental fillings are a common method to eradicate a cavity and restore your tooth to its normal functionality. Some patients may experience slight tooth sensitivity after a filling, but the good news is that in most cases, the sensitivity resolves within a couple of days.   

However, if you experience discomfort, swelling, or redness around the site where you had the filling, this is not normal, and you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. 


Why do I need a dental filling? 

Dental fillings repair cavities, which are damaged areas in your tooth enamel. Poor oral hygiene, a sugary diet, and imbalances in oral bacteria can cause small holes called cavities. If these holes are not filled, bacteria can infect the tooth’s nerve centre called the pulp. If the pulp is infected, you may need a root canal or even a tooth extraction. 

A dental filling can also be used to repair small fractures and any lost tooth structure. 


What are dental fillings made from? 

At Scott Street Dental, we offer our patients the choice between amalgam (silver) dental fillings or a white dental filling. We typically recommend amalgam fillings for your molars because they are exposed to more intense chewing. 

White fillings are matched to your natural tooth colour and are usually recommended for your “social six” the teeth at the front of your mouth.

 These cosmetic fillings can give you a seamless smile, and no one will even know your tooth has been filled.

If you have an especially deep cavity, we may recommend a tooth-coloured indirect filling, also known as an inlay or onlay.

This filling is fabricated in a lab and requires two dental visits. One to take an impression of your tooth and the other to cement the filling into place.     

What to expect after a filling?   

Patients can expect a numbing, tinging, itchiness, or puffiness at the site where the numbing agent was applied. And depending on the location in the mouth where the tooth was filled you may also have trouble eating and drinking. This dissipates once the numbness from the anaesthetic wears off.  


What triggers tooth sensitivity after dental fillings? 

Tooth sensitivity after a filling is typically a temporary moment of discomfort. It can be triggered by air hitting the mouth when breathing in, cold foods, hot drinks, acidic drinks and applying bite pressure to the area.   


Other reasons for tooth sensitivity

If your tooth pain and sensitivity last longer than a few days, you may be experiencing one of the following: \


  • Incorrect bite alignment

If your bite is too high or an imperfect fit, the excess bite force can trigger sensitivity. Your dentist can shave off some of the filling to remedy the issue.   


  • Nerve irritation

If you had a deep cavity and large filling placed, you may experience aggravation to the tooth nerve. Once the nerve becomes used to the filling compound, the sensitivity subsides. 


  • Pulpitis

If a tooth is severely cracked or has undergone multiple dental fillings, the pulp can become inflamed. The inflammation typically subsides, but when it doesn’t, you will undergo a root canal treatment to save the tooth. 


Final word

Dental fillings are the first line of defense in saving your natural teeth. They are a safe and effective restorative dental treatment and are typically completed in one quick appointment under a local anaesthetic.

The majority of patients do not experience any tooth sensitivity after a filling.  However, if your discomfort does not dissipate after a few days, call our practice on (02) 9158 6393 or (02) 9158 6313.

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