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Q. What can be done for tooth sensitivity after chipping off of the tooth filling?

Answered by
Dr. Naveen Thomas
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 15, 2020

Hello doctor,

I had braces and got them off and two tooth (upper left, last two) had a gap. My dentist said my filling also chipped from the removal and decided to redo the filling. Afterwards I experienced pain. Like sharp pain from eating hard things like chips, grainy things that went into the grooves. I went back and they fixed my bite by shaving some off. That did not work, so I went back and they redid the filling on the last back tooth because that is where I experienced the most pain. I went home waited two weeks or so and had same pain when eating hard grainy things. So I went back and they fixed the bite. Went back again after a few weeks because same issue came up, they found natural tooth was an issue and said maybe I was getting down to the dentin. They refilled those small spots.

I went home and had to go back in after a few weeks because I felt a few minor sensitive areas. They fixed my bite by shaving some off again. And of course that did not help so I went in again and this time they found two areas of the natural tooth and the filling was sensitive, they think the filling was sensitive was maybe due to the shaving from previous appointment. This time the following day it was way worse in terms of eating. Maybe it was the day after but running my fingernail on the tooth was sensitive. My dentist said I may need an onlay or crown if this keeps happening. I went to another dentist for second opinion, and took X-rays as attached. She said the filling looks good, and it was done well and it is all smooth. I wanted her to give me a second opinion and if I should get an onlay or crown. She said part of my filling is close to the nerve. I was surprised to hear that because the first time they did the filling it was far from the nerve, so I don not know what happened (maybe they redid it and drilled more). She said even if I do an onlay or crown that with the temporary might not work and I can still be sensitive, in which I would need a root canal. I called my friend who is a dentist and she told me I should wait it out. It is also possible the pulp horn can shrink and not be so close to the filling as it is pretty close. She also does not suggest a crown because it is taking away healthy tooth structure and that if that did not work I would have to pay double as I would need a root canal. When air goes on it, it’s sensitive, and sometimes when cold water goes on it it is sensitive, it was not like that before. Just seemed like it all got worse, but then again I just got it done two days ago.

Dr. Naveen Thomas

Dentistry Endodontist Paediatric Dentistry Periodontist


Welcome to

If only that particular tooth is being sensitive and no other, then the best for you may be going through the root canal treatment. The teeth may have been grinded down due to successive refilling and may now be very close to nerve. Sometimes using a strong toothpaste like GC Toothmousse helps in relieving this sensitivity completely by blocking all tubules, so try it first.Apply some directly around and between those two teeth. Wait for five minutes then brush it off. Crown can be delayed till you can, but just crown or inlay will not work without root canal treatment.

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