Pain after white filling – will it go away?

My friend recently had a couple of white fillings done by her dentist and I really like the way they look. At my recent appointment to have a filling, I told my dentist I wanted a white filling and he didn’t seem too excited about doing it. He was more interested in telling me about the risks associated with them – like the possibility of infection from saliva. I acknowledged the risks, but still wanted the white filling and he reluctantly did the procedure. It was a lot more painful than I thought it would be, and now, two weeks later, I still have a consistent ache on that side of my mouth. Will it go away? I’m  taking a pain reliever to help, but don’t know if I should call my dentist back. Any advice? — Cecelia

Cecelia,
Unfortunately, you probably pushed your dentist out of his comfort zone. There’s no doubt that when a dentist knows how and is completely comfortable doing white fillings, they will choose them over the old silver/mercury amalgam fillings. There should be no problems with contamination from saliva when a dentist does it right. Your dentist was likely not comfortable with the procedure and that is why he was reluctant, and based on the pain your are experiencing it would probably have been best to back off.

You need to find a dentist who knows how to do white fillings right and that can replace it.  When there’s contamination during the bonding process, bacteria gets in the little tubules of the dentin of your teeth, and it is not sealed against continual contamination. This should be fixed so that you don’t have any further harm to your tooth.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Sharp tooth pain while whitening

I started using a home whitening kit a couple of weeks ago and up until this morning, I didn’t notice any problems. Today, I experienced a sharp pain in my front tooth that was chipped several years ago and repaired with bonding. I think the bonding was done about ten years ago, so I am wondering if it is at a point where it needs to be replaced, but I also worry that the whitening has weakened it. — Aneesa

Aneesa,
Bleaching gel hasn’t been known to weaken bonding. If that were the case, the repaired part would probably fall off and not just be a sharp pain like you are describing.

Your tooth probably has a sensitive spot that used to be covered by bonding agent and the whitening gel is affecting it. This is a good example of the importance of a dentist’s supervision when you are whitening. Stop bleaching for now and make an appointment with your dentist so you can determine the exact root of the problem. If it is a sensitive spot, it can be coated with a product that will help with the sensitivity/pain so you can continue on with your regimen.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Is my 11-year-old too young for Zoom whitening?

This may sound like a terrible question, but I’m not one of “those” moms. My daughter is 11 and wants to have Zoom whitening done and I support her in it. If it was for vanity’s sake, I might be a little hesitant, but her teeth are kind of yellowish, and her regular cleanings don’t help. Last school year, she was bullied horribly by her fellow students and it really affected her self-esteem. She’s a beautiful girl, a star student and athlete. She doesn’t deserve this. I’d like to surprise her with Zoom whitening over the summer, so that she goes back to school with a smile she’s proud of. Will a dentist treat her at this age? If not, are there other options?  — A Mama Bear

Dear Mama Bear,
Your daughter is right on the cusp of the age when most dentists will give the green light on a procedure like Zoom whitening. Although Zoom whitening is not an invasive treatment, and it doesn’t damage the teeth, most dentists will want to wait until all the adult teeth are present. Some may also want to wait a couple of years beyond that. Check with your family dentist and be sure to explain your situation exactly as you have here.

As far as alternate procedures, it’s a good idea to have a consultation to address why your daughter’s teeth are discolored with the dentist anyway. It could be hereditary, permanent staining, or diet-related, but it could also be a symptom of something else. It could even be a sign that she has very thin enamel. If this is the case, Zoom whitening would probably cause such extreme sensitivity that she wouldn’t find it worthwhile. The results are likely to be mediocre at best as well. It’s also best to stay away from over-the-counter options at this age and work closely with the dentist to solve the problem instead. Your dentist may provide other in-office solutions during the consultation, but if it’s an enamel problem, she may need bonding or porcelain veneers to correct it.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Single veneer replacement – should I be concerned about color match?

About a month ago, I had veneers put on my front teeth. Because of some exposed dentin, I’ve endured quite a bit of sensitivity (although it’s getting better). When I saw my dentist this week, he said he wants to correct the fit issue and replace the one veneer. Will he be able to match the color or will I have a tooth that looks different? Also, what are the chances that removing the veneer could break the tooth underneath or possible damage one of the other veneers? — Shiela

Sheila,
You should absolutely let you dentist fix this issue for you. If he or she is a skilled cosmetic dentist, they will have no problem matching the color of the new veneer to your existing ones (the lab used most likely has the color formula on record so they can make a perfect match).

As far as damaging your tooth or surrounding veneers, you should also not worry. It’s actually more of a risk to leave the veneer the way it is. The sensitivity you have been experiencing is because dentin has tubules that lead directly to the pulp. When these tubules are left open, bacteria can easily get into the pulp and cause an even bigger set of issues.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.