Sensitivity after dental fillings
December 02, 2021
Experiencing sharp pain after a dental restoration has been done? Especially when biting forces are applied to the tooth or while drinking or eating something cold? Dr De Klerk tells us more about the probable causes:

Author:

Dr Cornel De Klerk
Experiencing sharp pain after a dental restoration has been done? Especially when biting forces are applied to the tooth or while drinking or eating something cold?

Here are the most probable causes:

 

1.

The dental filling might be obstructing the way your teeth normally fit into one another. This causes inflammation of the ligament around the tooth and causes a lot of discomfort when biting down. The solution is very simple. All your dentist needs to do, is adjust the filling in order to balance the bite again. This is called occlusal adjustment and brings immediate relief.

2.

Stress on the cavity margins due to shrinkage of the dental restoration after curing. This is called shrinkage stress. Polymerization/curing occurs when the soft dental filling (polymer) turns into a hard toothlike structure (monomer). This is achieved by means of a curing light (the blue UV light you see when we do dental restorations). When this transformation occurs, the dental filling shrinks and pulls on the cavity margins leading to postoperative sensitivity. This type of sensitivity can last several weeks. If it doesn’t improve, seek help from your dentist to investigate why the sensitivity is not resolving.

3.

Pulpitis which means inflammation of the nerve of the tooth. When removing tooth decay, the dentin of the tooth is disturbed. The dentin, again, is closely innervated by nerves and reacts when disturbed. Unfortunately, all decay needs to be removed; otherwise, the cavity will just become bigger. Sometimes the cavity may be close to the nerve and will cause even more post-operative sensitivity if the sensitivity doesn’t improve or gets worse after 2-4 weeks. The pulpitis might be irreversible, and the next step will be root canal treatment.

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