Tooth-Colored Fillings
and Preventing Toothache

We often hear,  “I know I don’t have cavities because my teeth do not hurt.” Cavities usually do not cause any dental discomfort. Teeth that require fillings may not hurt until the cavity gets to the nerve and then dental discomfort can set in at that time. Root canals or extractions may be needed to get rid of the discomfort.

A filling is needed when a tooth has a cavity. The filling will take the place of where the decay destroyed healthy tooth structure, helping to give it strength once again. Any dentist in Lincoln, NE will prepare the tooth by removing all of the present decay. Once the decay is removed completely, the tooth-colored filling will be placed.

After the tooth colored filling material has hardened, it will blend naturally with the surrounding tooth structure. White fillings are made of a composite material that bonds to your tooth and have a beautiful, lasting result.

While silver fillings are still used widely in many practices, our doctors believe that composite, white, fillings are a better option. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they are also better for your tooth and your overall health.

mercury free fillings

Silver fillings contain small amounts of mercury that can be released whenever you grind your teeth together while talking or chewing.  Silver fillings also expand and contract with temperature changes in your mouth, causing cracked teeth over time leading to more serious dental problems, such as needing dental crowns, extractions, and placement of dental implants. If you have concerns, or would like to discuss the any concerns you have with silver fillings, our dentist in Lincoln, NE can help.

before White fillings


After White fillings


Is it normal to have a Toothache After a Filling Placement?

Hygienist explaining how a toothache starts

Once in a while, patients may have dental discomfort after the placement of a dental filling. There can be a few reasons for the dental discomfort. One of the most common is the patient’s bite being off. When you are numb, often you can not bite down correctly as you normally would, which means that only so much adjusting can take place at that point. It may also take a few days to get used to your new bite. If you feel like you cannot bite down quite right, or are having a toothache days after the placement of new fillings, a simple bite adjustment may correct your dental discomfort.

Another common reason for tooth sensitivity after placement of white fillings is an acute inflammation inside the tooth. This inflammation arises due to the nerve inside the tooth becoming inflamed in response to dental work. This inflammation is a normal part of healing and precipitated with any dental work. The deeper the cavity, the more inflammation, and sensitivity can be expected after the placement of a new filling. A patient can experience dental discomfort as a result which can last for a few days or even weeks.

Most teeth do recover from this type of dental discomfort with time. If extreme sensitivity or a sharp toothache does not get better with time, or increases with time, it could be a sign of chronic inflammation, and this type of inflammation may require additional dental treatment , such as a root canal. To prevent dental discomfort, an excellent thing you can do is to have a great oral hygiene routine at home including brushing at least twice a day, flossing no less than five times a week, and using a fluoridated mouthwash.

Along with proper home care, make sure to visit your dentist in Lincoln, NE at least every six months. Not only is this important to receive a good professional cleaning, but once a year x-rays are taken which will diagnose decay before it gets deep enough to cause you dental discomfort.

What can I do to ease a persistent toothache?

If you’re having continual discomfort from a toothache, here are some steps to resolve the problem:

  1. Brush and floss your teeth to remove food fragments on or in-between your teeth.
  2. Rinse with warm water.
  3. If your gums are swollen, put a cold compress on the outside of your mouth.
  4. Do take Ibuprofen or Tylenol every four hours to ease your toothache.
  5. It’s recommended not to place aspirin or any other medication against the gums near the aching tooth as it can burn and cause gum tissue damage.
  6. If a toothache perseveres, call to see our “emergency dentist near me” as soon as possible. Read more.

How would I know if I have an abscessed tooth? Are there symptoms?

An abscessed tooth is an infection inside your tooth or gum that brings on a very uncomfortable, relentless toothache. The abscess is most often caused by a damaged tooth, an untreated cavity or gum disease. Bacteria moves into the tooth’s interior “pulp” to start the infection. The term “abscess” literally means a localized collection of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue. If left untreated the infection could spread and become severe enough to loose the tooth or initiate other health problems.

Typical symptoms of an abscessed tooth can be any of the listed:

  1. A severe headache with a moderate to high fever
  2. An intense toothache with a throbbing sensation, especially when chewing
  3. Experiencing a salty, bad taste in your mouth
  4. Gums that are red and swollen
  5. Your jaw and face swelling up
  6. A little bump or gumboil on either side of your gums that resembles the size of a pimple

What is a root canal and how does it treat an abscessed tooth?

A “root canal” is the procedure used to treat and save an abscessed tooth. Previously, it was almost certain that abscessed tooth would need to be removed. Today, however, our root canal dentists in Lincoln, NE can better evaluate if an infected tooth can be treated and saved.

If the diagnosis looks promising, our dentist in Lincoln, NE will first administer antibiotics to kill the bacteria that started the abscessed tooth. The source of the infection must be removed, so we’ll take care of the infected tooth or gum and drain the infectious pus. The dental professional will then evaluate what damage has been done in tooth’s interior pulp. The pulp is the soft tissue that holds the blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue that extends from the tooth’s crown down to the root within the jaw bone.

However, if the initial exam reveals that the abscessed tooth is beyond repair, our dentist in Lincoln, NE will not be able to perform a root canal and will suggest removing (extracting) the tooth. If the tooth is too severely damaged for us to help you, it isn’t the end of the road. We can also refer you to an endodontist who can take a look. An endodontist, which is someone who has mastered the art of root canal therapy, will be able to get you the help you need.

Do allergies make your jaw hurt?

It is possible to experience discomfort in the jaw and teeth when your sinuses are blocked. Sinus infections, congestion, and allergies can all affect the jaw and face, often causing swelling and pain.

What’s a tooth extraction? Is that uncomfortable?

An “extraction” is the process of having a tooth removed. Our emergency dentist in Lincoln, NE, may feel an extraction is necessary if repairing a damaged tooth just isn’t practical. The tooth may be malpositioned, infected with an advanced periodontal disease, or essentially has become nonfunctional.

The emergency dentist will numb the area around the infected tooth with a local anesthetic to avoid discomfort. It’s normal to have a small amount of bleeding during and after the extraction. For the 24 hours after your extraction, you should not drink from a straw and rinse gently so as not to disturb the clot. You can brush and floss all the other teeth except for near the extracted tooth socket. If you do experience any discomfort after the extraction, apply a cold cloth or an ice bag on the gums near the socket.

How long should your teeth hurt after a filling? Is tooth pain after a filling normal?

After having a filling placed, it is normal to experience some sensitivity. Having a filling placed is, in a sense, just like having a mini surgery on that tooth. Any pain you have should be minimal and can be managed with over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Ibuprofen. The pain should subside completely within a few days to few weeks. Give your tooth time to heal and if after a few weeks you still experience sensitivity, let your dentist in Lincoln, NE know. At this point, he or she will likely take a look to make sure what you are experiencing is normal.

Why does my filling hurt after months?

Often, individuals have fillings placed to alleviate tooth pain and or decay. If you have a filling placed and experience pain months later, it can be a cause for concern. While pain after a filling is common for up to four weeks, any discomfort that occurs outside of that time period should be evaluated by your dentist in Lincoln, NE.

Why does my tooth hurt worse after a filling?

If you have had a filling placed and are still experiencing discomfort it is likely that you have some residual inflammation or an irritated nerve. Time and patience are key. If after a period of about three to four weeks you are still experiencing discomfort, reach out to your dentist in Lincoln, NE and have them take a look.

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We have 7 locations in Lincoln, NE

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Lincoln Family Dentistry – Central Lincoln
South Lincoln Family Dentistry – South Lincoln
Northeast Lincoln Family Dentistry– Northeast Lincoln
Preserve Family Dentistry – East Lincoln
Coddington Dental – West Lincoln

NorthStar Dental – North Lincoln
SouthPointe Dental – Southwest Lincoln
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Nebraska Family Dentistry has Lincoln Dental clinics in all parts of Lincoln. Choose a “near me dentist” location that is convenient for you.

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