High Tooth Filling: Causes, Problems, and Treatment

The purpose of fillings is to remedy various issues with your teeth including tooth decay and cavities. The process involves your dentist removing the damaged portion of the affected tooth and then replacing it with a filling agent the purpose of which is to restore the tooth to its former glory. Unfortunately, many people seem to mistakenly subscribe to the notion that fillings are a completely foolproof method of fixing these dental problems. While they certainly have a high efficacy rate when properly applied, there are some cases in which even the most experienced and skilled dentists can incorrectly administer a tooth filling treatment. High dental fillings are a good example of this.

tooth filling treatment

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What Is a High Dental Filling?

During a routine filling treatment, it’s possible for your dentist to overfill your decayed tooth or even place the filling too high and this can result in a great deal of discomfort, sensitivity, and even pain. The reason your dentist might ask you to bite down on a thin piece of paper after applying fillings in your teeth is because they need to test the shape and formation of your bite to make sure that the filling was properly placed. They might even ask you whether the filling feels comfortable or if it’s causing any immediately noticeable discomfort. The problem is that it’s usually very hard for most patients to be able to determine if their filling placement is slightly off because their dentist might have applied a numbing or cooling agent to prevent the patient from feeling immense pain or sensitivity. Some sensitivity or slight pain a day or two following the procedure is perfectly normal, but any discomfort beyond that should promptly be reported to your dentist, especially if you suspect there may be something wrong with your freshly inserted filling. If left untreated, high dental fillings can lead to a whole host of other dental issues, most notably malocclusion, misalignment in the jaw, and problems with your bite.

Causes of Pain after a High Filling or Tooth Restoration

The reason you may experience either minor, moderate, or excruciating pain or discomfort after having a high filling placed is because every time you take a bite, your teeth push against one another and apply an increased amount of pressure. This issue stems from the fact that the awkward placement of the high dental filling is getting in the way of your natural bite and may even be causing a great deal of tension between your other teeth. If you have multiple fillings within close proximity or if you’ve had other permanent or semi-permanent dental work done, you might also feel a sharp shooting pain every time those particular teeth come into contact with one another. This is a result of two different types of metals rubbing against one another in your mouth. Over time, the metals will become slightly dull and the pain should subside naturally. Unprecedented pain a few days following the procedure is one of the most telling symptoms of a high dental filling.

How to Determine if a Filling Is Too High

If you’re wondering how to tell if a filling is too high after the fact, there’s a simple trick you can use to test it out. It’s called the Clench Test and it involves clenching your upper and lower teeth tightly together while your mouth is empty. If you feel any level of soreness, sensitivity, or pressure whatsoever, then this is a good indication that your filling may have been placed too high. Fillings that are improperly placed, especially high fillings can result in an extremely uneven bite which will inevitably cause other dental problems.

Problems Associated with High Dental Fillings

One of the most obvious problems associated with high dental fillings is that they cause the affected tooth to protrude out further than all of the other surrounding teeth in your mouth. Consequently, every time you bite down while eating or even moving your jaw while speaking, you’re inadvertently applying additional pressure to that specific tooth that’s disproportionate compared to your other teeth. On top of that, you’re also applying the same amount of pressure to the other teeth that are either directly above, underneath, or adjacent to the tooth that received the erroneous filling. This can cause these teeth to grind against one another and weaken their internal structural foundations, which will only result in a domino effect of further necessary dental work.

How to Remedy Pain Caused by High Dental Fillings

The first step to implementing effective high filling pain relief is to contact your dentist or dental professional if you’re still experiencing any degree of pain or sensitivity a few days following your dental filling procedure. If, for any reason, you’re unable to make it to the dentist right away or they happen to be overbooked with appointments during the time you’re available, then they’ll most likely make a few recommendations to hold you over and temporarily relieve your pain or discomfort in the meantime. For instance, your dentist might suggest you invest in a tooth sensitivity or pain relief toothpaste to help alleviate some of the tenderness. Once you get to the dentist, they’ll have to adjust the positioning of the filling. After the corrective procedure, your dentist might suggest that you temporarily alter your diet until the affected tooth is fully healed. They might advise you to refrain from eating any hard, chewy, or crunchy foods and stick to a soft or liquid diet for the next little while.

Princeview Dental Group is a dental clinic located in the heart of The Kingsway neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario. We’ve been taking care of a wide variety of our clients’ dental care needs for over 20 years and know how to fix high fillings and other oral issues. To schedule an appointment with one of our dental professionals, please contact us.

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