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Should I still be getting pain when biting on a tooth with a temporary filling?



Apr 15, 2008
Some details: a few months ago I started getting mild to moderate pain when chewing involved my upper right rear molar. My dentist found nothing obvious wrong but seeing as it has a few pretty old fillings in it he suggested replacing them all with an 'onlay' instead of using a crown (the latter of course removes a lot more tooth material so an onlay seemed like the better solution). Note that about three months prior to this I had had a routine X-ray of all of my teeth and no issues were found, but because of this he didn't want to X-Ray again, presumably thinking along the lines that any current decay causing pain would have been starting at least prior to the recent-ish X-rays.

The prep work for the onlay was carried out three weeks ago and a temporary filled applied. He did warn me that as the tooth isn't currently properly sealed (due to the temp filling) I may get some cold sensitivity. This I do have but not much.

I am of course avoiding chewing on that tooth as it only has a temporary filling, however I still accidentally but briefly chew on it from time to time (just the one bite!) and when I do it's still moderately painful (also, after accidentally chewing on it and inducing pain this pain, or an ache, can sometimes linger a little for minutes or an hour or two, but it's then intermittent).

Surely if all of the decay was removed when prepping for the onlay I shouldn't be experiencing pain now? Or is the nerve possibly still sensitive after the treatment and the original problem?

I will of course contact my dentist about this but he is on holiday at the moment. I could ask somebody else at the practice but prefer to speak to the dentist who carried out the procedure.

Should my dentist have carried out an X-Ray when I initially presented with the tooth pain? (my practice seems to be very wary of using too many X-Rays due to the patient potentially getting too much radiation exposure).

I am concerned that there is an underlying issue which a newer X-Ray would have picked up on, hence my ongoing pain. Could it be that the current treatment isn't even addressing the initial problem?

Thanks Gordon, that's very reassuring.

Today I'm experiencing more of an intermittent ache at times (not biting on it) but wonder if I aggravated it a bit yesterday with a few accidental chomps.
Thank you, I quite like the phrase too, just made it up on the spot. :)

The tooth seems to have settled down again today, I've also managed to avoid any more of those accidental chomps. :)