These days, a trip to the dentist is fairly uneventful.
Patients report comfort levels far exceeding those in the recent past; pain relief medications are more effective and take effect more rapidly; and materials used in treating patients are more adaptive to tooth structures than ever before.
Each of these improvements is designed to provide patients with the best clinical outcome and a degree of comfort previously unheard of. However, for a small percentage of patients, post-appointment pain can still crop up and linger for days or weeks on end.
It’s Good to be You — Sometimes
Excluding rare instances of product malfunction or dentist error, the main reason a tooth likely hurts after a filling has to do with many highly individual factors in your mouth.
The structure of your teeth, past dentistry, personal habits (like clenching and grinding), and even the durability of the blood vessels, tissues, and nerves within your teeth, play a part in whether you remain pain-free after your anesthetic wears off.
What Causes the Pain?
How Long Will the Pain Last?
This is the million-dollar question – and the most difficult to answer.
The short answer is: It depends. It depends on your overall health, the health of your teeth, and the exact reason for the pain you are experiencing.
In the vast majority of cases, pain that exists after a restoration tends to dissipate within a few days.
However, if pain persists beyond a week, you should call your dentist to inform them of your symptoms. Depending on the type of work you had done, your dentist may decide to perform additional X-rays, or suggest you wait a bit to see if things settle down with the passage of time.
Believe it or not, it’s not unheard of for some patients to experience discomfort for months after a filling is placed. The key is to be in communication with your dentist so you can monitor the situation correctly.
While certainly not ideal, maybe you can find some comfort in the idea that you are as unique as you’ve always thought you were!