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Dental and Oral Health Center

Nerve pain after filling

01/23/2009

Question:

Hello,

I had a filling one week ago in a top molar. According to the dentist it was quite a big job and the tooth was in a bad way. After the procedure he said that he had touched about 1/2mm of the nerve and also that they had had to apply something (?) in order to promote tissue regeneration.

As a result, I was told that it might be sensitive once the anaesthetic wore off. He was right! It was incredibly painful that afternoon, but fortunately that really severe pain wore off after a few hours. However, since then, the pain has been coming and going (a strong pain in and around the tooth, in my jaw and up my cheek) and I am having to take a couple of painkillers every day.

I was just wondering if this kind of pain is normal - and, if so, how long it should last - or if I need to go back to the dentist?

Thanks in advance.

Answer:

Yes, everything you are describing sounds correct and believable.  My personal recommendation would be to give your tooth several (4-6) weeks or more as long as it does not get significantly worse.  You are also no doubt aware that this tooth may eventually require a root canal or extraction if it does not quiet down.  It sounds like your local dentist was trying and hoping to save your tooth without the additional expense and time of a root canal procedure.

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Response by:

David Lee Hall, DDS David Lee Hall, DDS
Clinical Associate Professor of Primary Care
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University