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Deep filling still sore -- should I have gotten a root canal instead?

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BeccaMonster

Junior member
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
8
Hello everyone. I had a bunch of fillings replaced a week ago all at once due to leaking and decay around their edges. One in particular was very deep. Since then, the deep filling has been sensitive to chew on and now it has been achy enough that I've had to take ibuprofen.

I go back to the dentist next Friday to get fitted for a night guard and have my teeth cleaned so obviously I will have him check my bite, but I'm really worried that this tooth should have been a root canal instead of a filling. It definitely doesn't seem normal that it's painful enough after a filling to require pain meds a week later. I've never had a filling be anything more than a little sore post filling.

Opinions?
 
If a root canal was needed, the dentist would have known when he was inside fixing the cavity. It will likely be sore for a few weeks because of how deep it is. Let your dentist know at your appointment that you are concerned about this.

Hope you feel better soon

Kolya, RDH
Dental hygienist
 
I will definitely be asking him how close it was to the nerve when I see him. It seems to hurt more at night -- hence why I am up at 2 am to take an advil and freaking out.

I'm worried it is the start of irreversible pulpitis. I don't know if that can happen so fast since it has only been a week, though. I've had so many dental issues over the past six months and I'm just emotionally exhausted. I just need a break of no teeth pain.
 
I've attached an x-ray from 2011 and the filling was already deep and I know it had more decay this time around.
 

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Yes, that filling does look really deep, and it most likely will be sensitive for awhile.

What does the soreness \ pain feel like? Generally irreversible pulpitis has a certain set of symptoms and type of pain that is different from reversible pulpitis.
 
It's actually feeling a little better. It is still sore to chew on and if I tap it, it is sore. The rest of the fillings I recently had done are no longer sore. However, I think most of my pain is stemming from my bite being off. My pain is mostly after eating and waking up at night (and I think it is because I'm clenching on an "off" bite -- getting a night guard soon.) The pain is a generalized soreness on that whole side and it can even refer to other teeth. I think a filling on my lower bicuspid may be high.

Anyways, I'm definitely going to talk to him about the bite and the deep filling. But I'm thinking both of these issues are normal. He told.me to expect some sensitivity for even up to a month or two and its only been 9 days.
 
If it was irreversible pulpitis, I'm guessing I would know? It would be extreme and not just a soreness?
 
I'm not a dentist, but wanted to provide some correct information based on what dentists on here have said in the past about similar situations and also my own experience. Sometimes a dentist doesn't know when a/he has done the filling that a root canal is needed. They may suspect that they've gotten close to the nerve, but sometimes it's just a matter of the trauma of the filling being too much for the tooth to handle and it starts to die (this can happen right away, or it can be delayed - I've had both happen).

That said, you mention a couple of things that I think are important. The first is that it seems to be getting better - generally, with irreversible pulpitis, at least in my experience, it only gets worse - and much worse (not helped by over the counter pain meds). The second is that you said your bite feels off. This can cause a ton of pain/discomfort especially if you are a clencher/grinder. Fixing your bite should be very quick and you'll know in a day or so if it has helped. The dentist should be able to fit you in very soon to check your bite and adjust it as needed.

Best of luck to you!
 
I'm not a dentist, but wanted to provide some correct information based on what dentists on here have said in the past about similar situations and also my own experience. Sometimes a dentist doesn't know when a/he has done the filling that a root canal is needed. They may suspect that they've gotten close to the nerve, but sometimes it's just a matter of the trauma of the filling being too much for the tooth to handle and it starts to die (this can happen right away, or it can be delayed - I've had both happen).

That said, you mention a couple of things that I think are important. The first is that it seems to be getting better - generally, with irreversible pulpitis, at least in my experience, it only gets worse - and much worse (not helped by over the counter pain meds). The second is that you said your bite feels off. This can cause a ton of pain/discomfort especially if you are a clencher/grinder. Fixing your bite should be very quick and you'll know in a day or so if it has helped. The dentist should be able to fit you in very soon to check your bite and adjust it as needed.

Best of luck to you!

Thank you! Your experience echoes what I've found while looking around online. I have an appointment Friday to get my night guard impression so I'm going to address all these questions but it helps to hear others' opinions too. I've kept taking advil even though my mouth feels okay (except for the chewing/bite being off). I'm trying to reduce any possible inflammation. From what you describe, my tooth doesn't seem like it has irreversible pulpitis at this moment. But again, I am going to bring that up and ask him what I should watch for.
 
Just to update -- tooth soreness finally went away around Wednesday. Went to the dentist Friday and he told me when he changed the filling, he could not see pulp. The filling depth didn't change either, it just got a little wider horizontally. So that made me feel more reassured to know pulp was not visible during the drilling. Had my bite adjusted and things feel a bit better. Hope it continues to settle. Thanks for the help!
 
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