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Hello Dr. Hall, I’ve had small fillings done with flowable resin based composites, and have had constant sharp pain when chewing certain hard crunchy foods that last a split second. The pain has not been getting worse, and I’ve had the fillings replaced with the same composite but have stayed the same or gotten slightly worse.
From your page Pain in my tooth after getting a new filling, your second to last bullet point, it matches my situation exactly. I can clench my teeth together without any discomfort at all, but when I chew hard crunchy foods I get a sharp pain in these teeth.
I’ve been trying to source a dentist that uses “self-etching primers” or a glass ionomer base, as you suggest on the page, but receptionists I’ve called seem not too familiar. Some will say they use Filtek (which I can look up and is a composite filling), but what exactly should I say to ask for your suggestions?
I am living in Birmingham, England currently, but honestly, I don’t care where it is, I wouldn’t mind traveling down to London if you know of some appropriate ones there, as it’s been bugging me seriously.
– Gilbert from Birmingham, England
Yes, it does sound like this strange sensitivity that curiously tends to occur much more often with small fillings than with large ones and seems to be related to the bonding of the filling to the dentin of the tooth. And I’m not surprised that the receptionist won’t know what you’re talking about when you ask if the dentist uses self-etching primers or glass ionomer bases. One of the dental assistants who helps in the procedure might know what a glass ionomer base is, but I couldn’t be sure of even that.
I can think of two possible solutions for you. One would be to make an appointment and then tell the dentist directly, before he or she starts working on you, that you insist that they use a glass ionomer base under the filling to protect the dentin, so that they don’t have to bond the composite to the dentin, and if they can’t agree to that, don’t let them work on you.
The second and more certain solution would be to go to London, as long as you’re willing to travel that far, and see our recommended cosmetic dentist there, Dr. Tim Bradstock-Smith. He would know all of these things.
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does advanced internet marketing for dentists.