I had a dental exam and cleaning to prepare for teeth whitening and Invisalign. My teeth are yellow, and I wanted to whiten them to make me feel better before starting orthodontic treatment. My dentist found a small cavity in a first molar tooth and filled it with composite. I feel a sharp pain in it when I chew. My dentist says the tooth is not cracked and adjusted my bite twice. He also says that sharp pain after a small composite filling is rare but not unheard of. I asked him to redo the filling, and he said that the filling was not the problem. Now he says that with sensitivity in my tooth, he doesn’t want to do teeth whitening but will proceed with Invisalign. I don’t want Invisalign moving my teeth when I am already in pain. I want the sharp pain resolved. My dentist says I might need a root canal and crown and start Invisalign. What is going on? Thanks. Marcus
Your dentist may prefer to do a root canal and crown for $2000 or more than replace a composite filling.
What Causes a Sharp Pain After a Small Composite Filling?
Sharp pain after a small composite filling is often due to improper technique or an issue with your bite. If your dentist prefers a root canal and crown, you probably won’t convince him to replace the filling. However, if he agrees, you can expect the steps below:
- Remove the existing filling
- Cover the dentin with a glass ionomer base
- Etch the tooth
- Replace the composite filling
If you need to switch dentists
If you need to switch dentists to get a filling replacement, we recommend getting a second opinion from a skilled cosmetic dentist to redo the filling. Since you want your teeth whitened and Invisalign treatment, look for a dentist who can provide all three treatments:
- Composite fillings
- Teeth whitening
Don’t rush your decision, though. Research a few dentist’s websites for their post-graduate training and credentials in the treatment you need.
Beverly Hills accredited Fellow of cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Brian LeSage, sponsors this post.