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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

New composite filling

02/23/2009

Question:

Hello, I just had a small cavity that grew on my back molar at the edge of an old composite filling. I didn`t even notice the cavity but it was discovered during a routine visit. He removed the decay and old filling without Novocain and it was only mildly uncomfortable. However, it has been about 6 hours since the procedure was done and my tooth (which had no pain before) has started a light throbbing pain. I have read that sometimes the material used during the filling can irritate the tooth but I am uncertain how painful it should/shouldn’t be. Because he filled it without Novocain, does that mean it was not deep and I can rule out and forming abscess? I have been taking 800mg of ibuprofen for the pain but can eat and drink fin on it. It just bothers me when I am doing nothing. Thank you for your help.

Answer:

From what you are telling me, the filling does not sound very deep. If this is the case, an abscess would be very rare. Sometimes, the tooth dries out a little too much during the filling process. It is much more of a problem with composite fillings than silver fillings. When this happens, the tooth can be painful for a few days. If it continues for more than a week, return to your dentist.

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Response by:

Daniel Nathan Reed, DDS Daniel Nathan Reed, DDS
Clinical Associate Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University