Dental Tips Blog


My Tooth Hurts – Do I Need to Replace My Filling?

Posted in Fillings

Fillings are meant to repair damage to your tooth, instead of being a bother you. If your filled tooth is unusually sensitive, you shouldn’t ignore it!

When Was the Filling Placed?

Old fillings can change the shape of your tooth, and new metal or tooth colored fillings take time for your tooth to adjust to. Both can cause sensitivity depending on your tooth’s health.

What Does Sensitivity Mean?

Sensitivity happens when small channels in the tooth structure have opened up a bit, exposing the sensitive nerves to temperature changes. Your enamel layer protects each tooth. Where there is no enamel or there is a break in it, your tooth will become sensitive.

This may mean that:

  • There is a fracture in the tooth or around the edge of a filling
  • Sensitive root structure is exposed because of gum recession
  • Enamel is being worn away through acid exposure or teeth grinding

Just because a filled tooth is sensitive doesn’t guarantee you’ll have to replace the filling, but you should get it looked at, anyway.

If There is a Cavity

If an x-ray or exam reveals that decay has indeed shown its ugly head again, then your only option is to change out the filling. Your dentist will remove it, clean out new decay, and seal the tooth off again in the most conservative manner possible.

Retreating a filled tooth might require that you take things a step further. Depending on the size of the restoration, an indirect filling or crown could be necessary. If the cavity or damage is too deep, you may need a root canal instead.

Contact your dentist for an exam if your filled tooth starts to bother you without any apparent reason. The sooner you take action, the more conservative treatment will be!

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. Farhan Qureshi, DDS
5206 Dawes Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311
(703) 931-4544

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