My cosmetic dentist used flowable resin composite material for a filling I had done recently. I have had composite fillings done in the past with no problem. But, this one is bothering me. It’s hard to explain. There is a sharp pain that persists when I chew certain crunch foods. It only lasted for a couple seconds at first. However, now I feel like the more time that goes by, it’s getting worse.
The pain subsides when I’m not eating, so I feel like it’s fine. But, when I eat something crunchy it’s back. When I bite down while I’m not eating, there is no pain either. It’s quite odd.
I have been doing some research and have found some expert cosmetic dentists recommend a “self-etching primer” or a glass ionomer. But, I keep calling around to try to find a dentist that will do this type of dental bonding with these materials and I’m coming up short. Do you have any advice?
-Jake in Indiana
Thank you for your question. First, it sure sounds like you have done your research regarding the complexities of different bonding materials used in composite bonding procedures for fillings. Ironically, sensitivities like you have described tend to occur when filling smaller fillings versus larger ones. Also, the sensitivity may be related to bonding the material to the dentin of the tooth.
It’s also not surprising that you haven’t found a cosmetic dentist in your area that is familiar with the self-etching primers or glass ionomer bases. The individual answering the phone, and the dental assistant for that matter, likely isn’t aware of the specific materials used for this treatment.
You could keep calling and request to speak with the dentist directly or insist that they specifically ask this question. Or you could take your chances and schedule an appointment. Then, before the dentist begins you could explain that you want to protect the dentin on this tooth and that you only want a glass ionomer base. Then, the bond will be made with the composite material and avoid direct contact to the dentin. If he or she disagrees, then you refuse treatment.
The other alternative would be to travel to a larger metropolitan area near you. There may be a greater selection of cosmetic dentists to choose from. It sounds like you’re instincts are correct. In the meantime, it probably goes without saying, avoid crunchy foods. Best of luck to you!
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS