Sedation cavity filling now hurting :(



Junior member
Jul 6, 2020
Hello, I'm new here! Long story short,I have extreme phobia that's gotten worse over the years. I get in the chair, I hyperventilate and start crying. I'm usually ok for the cleaning as long as they tell me what they're doing and go slow.

I recently was knocked completely out for 2 cavities to be filled (last 2 teeth on lower right side). Before the procedure I told them that it was hurting more than normal and they said all was looking the same. They knocked me out, filled my cavities and sent me on my way.

I've been sensitive in that area ever since and this week the pain is severe at time, sharp and throbbing on and off. I cant chew on that side at all. I've got a recheck scheduled for Wednesday.

The receptionist just freaked me out saying maybe I need a root canal instead. It's a white filling and its large, so large that I expressed to my husband why they wouldnt have just done a crown in the first place.

I'm just so anxious! Partly because I dont want anymore work done, partly because I don't feel as though I should have to be financially responsible for another favorite filling if it is. Or if it is needing a root canal, they should have told me that in the first place and not charged be $1200 for a filling that was not appropriate.


Jan 20, 2020
Hi and Welcome! I'm sorry you're feeling pain and feeling anxious but you've come to the right place :)

If the filling is large and deep it could be aggravating the nerve. The nerve may need some time to settle down. Try not to stress too much, I know its easier said than done, and wait to hear what the dentist says. Hopefully a root canal isnt needed!!


Super Moderator
Staff member
Sep 18, 2017
I love receptionists who suggest diagnoses over the phone, especially the ones that make people freak out :(

So firstly no, a receptionist cannot have even a slightest idea of what is wrong with the tooth and while needing a root canal may be one of the possibilities, there is also the option of the filling simply being too high and needing to get grinded down a tiny little bit - which is quick, painless and also one of the possiblities. Needless to say that between those two there are surely a lot of other things that might be going on and instead of jumping into root canals, usually the less invasive option gets tried out first.. only your dentist can tell you on Wednesday. So please, please, please, if you can, do not panic.

One word about root canals: if the filling was too close to the nerve (which the dentist often can't see before the tooth has been worked on), your dentist would have applied a protective coat between the nerve and the filling to help it calm down and they would have to let you know, after the procedure, that the filling was close. If they didn't tell anything like that, then the filling probably wasn't close to the nerve.
Also, when it comes to teeth needing root canals, this is not done two weeks after a filling. It's more about grinding the filling down a bit to relieve the tooth and leaving it time to calm down itself. If it doesn't - and you are the person to say "I don't want to wait anymore", a root canal can be done. I know a dentist who needed three months, but the tooth settled itself eventually.

Out of curiosity - do you have an idea about what made your phobia get worse despite going regularly? There are some cues in your post that make me wonder how well looked after you feel in your current practice.

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