The purpose of having a filling done is to remove any dental decay and ease any pain or discomfort that might accompany it. Dental fillings are important restorations to have done and should not be delayed. Decay can progress very quickly and needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Let’s take a look at ‘do dental fillings hurt’ and why you shouldn’t avoid them.


What Are Tooth Fillings?

A dental filling is a procedure that is performed to remove all dental decay and to fill the hole with a filling material such as amalgam, composite resin, porcelain or gold.


Do Dental Fillings Hurt?

The dental filling procedure is done under anaesthetic to minimise pain and discomfort. Because its objective is to remove all the infected material and close up the cavity (which could have exposed the nerve, resulting in pain), once it is complete, you should not feel pain.


What About Tooth Sensitivity After Tooth Fillings?

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort after a filling, consider the following


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General tooth sensitivity

Sometimes patients report feeling some tooth sensitivity after a filling procedure. In many patients, this will disappear in the days after the procedure and may occur as a result of the tooth nerve being irritated during the filling procedure or as a result of the dental decay.


Your tooth fillings might need adjustment

Sometimes your tooth might feel sensitive when you bite down. You might only notice this once the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off. This could be because the filling has been built up too high and needs to be adjusted by your dentist. 


Your tooth fillings may have a gap

In some cases, it’s possible that either the dental fillings have become loose, or shrunk, and a gap has opened up between the filling and your tooth. This can occur with dental fillings that are done with composite resin, as sometimes the material shrinks back a little when it hardens.


There may be an infection

If you have explored all other possibilities and are still experiencing pain or discomfort after your dental fillings have been done, it is possible that not all the infected material was removed. Your dentist may need to do an x-ray to confirm this. If this is the case, the old filling will need to be removed, and the cavity cleaned out again. 


So, Do Dental Fillings Hurt?

Tooth fillings should not hurt when they are done by an experienced dental practitioner who uses a local anaesthetic. Once the procedure is over, there may be some sensitivity but in the majority of cases, this subsides in the days following treatment. It’s important to note that any discomfort experienced as a result of the dental filling procedure is minuscule in comparison to the pain that could accompany severe dental decay or gum disease. Dental fillings are most comfortable when they are done sooner rather than later.


Don’t let your fear of pain allow you to delay treatment. To find out more about the question “do dental fillings hurt” and how you can manage any discomfort please contact us: (02) 9158 6309.