Composite filling hurts

I needed a dental filling on a back tooth. My dentist prefers placing the silver ones, but I didn’t really want that. I kind of pressured him to place the white one. Now I’m worried I made a mistake. The tooth hurts when I chew. I checked when I’m not eating and clenched, but it’s fine then. It only hurts when I’m biting down on something. Can this be fixed or am I stuck with it?


Dear Brooke,

Image left of silver amalgam fillings loaded with mercury. Image right: mercury-free composite fillings

When it comes to choosing your filling, you did a great job. Composite fillings are much better than their amalgam counterparts. However, you need a dentist who is able to to place them properly.

Bonding a composite filling has a totally different technique than their silver counterparts. If not done properly, it can cause the pain you are describing.

This can be eliminated by having the crown re-done the right way. There is also an occasional problem with small composite fillings. We aren’t sure what causes it, but we do know if the dentist uses a self-etching primer or a glass ionomer base under the filling you won’t have pain.

You Need a Mercury-free Dentist

If you want this to be done properly, you’ll need a dentist to understand the procedure. I’m sure your dentist did the best he knew how, but at this point you need someone else, unless he’s willing to learn.

Either you or your dentist can contact a mercury free dentist who understands the right technique and can re-do your filling properly.

I hope this helps. It’s always better to find a different dentist for a procedure you have your heart set on in which your dentist is trying to steer you away from.

Usually, it means they don’t know this procedure as well, but they don’t want to admit it.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Dulaune.