Pain After Filling a Deep Cavity

What should you do if you know that you have had a deep cavity which required filling and now it is painful?

Your dentist may have warned you of this by showing x-rays of your own teeth beforehand or after the filling has been placed, or mention that the filling was close to the nerve and it was deep.

It is not uncommon that a filling does not look to be deep on the x-ray but when the dentist actually starts to remove the decay, it becomes apparent that the decay may have reached the nerve of the tooth.

The dentist then has to make a clinical decision as to place a filling or to decide to carry out a root canal treatment. It is always preferable to carry out a filling if there is a reasonable chance that the tooth will be okay.

However, dentistry is not an exact science and it is a matter of clinical judgement on the exact treatment provided to you. Both decisions can be correct and they both have advantages and disadvantages.

Generally speaking, we advise patients that after a deep filling, pain could start and even on some occasions, the pain starts after some time delay that filling was placed.

The exact scenario depends on how the nerve in the tooth responds to the placement of that particular filling. It can be that the nerve does not respond favourably and it becomes inflamed or infected. In this case, you will definitely need to decide whether to keep the tooth by having a root canal treatment done or by having an extraction.