Is it possible my dentist didn't refill my cavity enough resulting in my pain?


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Maybe 9 months ago an old filling fell out while flossing so I went to a local dentist to have it refilled and afterwards and ever since the top of my tooth is sensitive. I can eat but have to do so carefully and often there is slight pain. When I went back to have it checked out all they were concerned with was the possibility that they filled it too high but I'm wondering now if the problem was they didn't fill it enough as I can tell it's lower than before the original fell out. I didn't mention it to them because they were so concerned that it was too high but now I'm regretting not mentioning it.
 
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Hello out there. Any dentists or dental students have any ideas for me?
 
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I'm not a professional but here's my opinion. If your filling was so far gone/broken as to just flake off while flossing, cavity may have formed behind and they may have had to drill a bit closer to the nerve to put a new filling and that may cause you tooth to be more sensitive. However, pain ongoing after 9 months is not a good sign. It's possible the nerve had been affected and a root canal treatment may be necessary.

About having filled too high or too low. The only concern is filling too high because it creates a high point of contact and prevents the other teeth from closing together properly, as well as putting a lot of pressure on that high spot. Less filling is not really a concern, as long as the tooth is well covered.
 
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I'm not a professional but here's my opinion. If your filling was so far gone/broken as to just flake off while flossing, cavity may have formed behind and they may have had to drill a bit closer to the nerve to put a new filling and that may cause you tooth to be more sensitive. However, pain ongoing after 9 months is not a good sign. It's possible the nerve had been affected and a root canal treatment may be necessary.

About having filled too high or too low. The only concern is filling too high because it creates a high point of contact and prevents the other teeth from closing together properly, as well as putting a lot of pressure on that high spot. Less filling is not really a concern, as long as the tooth is well covered.
Thanks. I suppose that's possible be drilled a bit too much, or as much was needed and the nerve just couldn't take it. Fortunately it's not time for a root canal as it's not that bad. It's just a spot or two right on the top where it's definitely more shallow than before. My dentist said, recently after another visit that, totally doubting my hypothesis that whatever (tiny)amount that he under filled it, it wouldn't matter which doesn't make sense to me as that is suggesting no protection is needed over the nerve because as I see it, obviously that is the point of the filling, so the question is how much exactly is needed which I didn't quite articulate and let him basically poop on my idea then left. But I find it totally plausible that he didn't fill it to the amount that is needed to not feel pain. I mean, there is, must be, a definite line/level that must be reached to sufficiently protect the tooth right? And he didn't address exactly what that line would be and I suspect he just can't say exactly which leaves open the possibility he didn't reach it, but as with most experts they have an ego that is connected to their titles. But I'm going a bit off here. He could be right or not but he just seemed to be opining like myself. All I know was one day it was fine, filling dropped out, couple days later it was refilled slightly lower and now slight pain I have to be mindful of. So yeah, could be that the nerve didn't like the last unavoidable job, or the dentist didn't do it totally right. Oh well I guess. He offered to add more and maybe I should have take him up on the offer but 1 if he's right that adding more would probably make it worse, just more work = more tooth trauma, and I don't want want anyone doing that kinda work on me without confidence in the work. But luckily it's not going to require a root canal any time soon at least. So all in all I'm lucky I can eat comfortably for the most part.
 
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Could have been cured incompletely. Dental composites are cured with UV light. The composite will not cure with time, by design it will only cure with UV light. There are differences between curing tools, in penetration, in the collimated beam of light, and curing time: https://www.dentalaegis.com/id/2012/03/principles-of-light-curing

The dental composite could have been cured incompletely, causing pain. Consider for example, a pocket of liquid composite encased beneath the cured crystalline composite, the composite in this liquid phase may experience thermal expansion and contraction, causing pressure related stress and thus pain in your tooth.

There are significant difference between practitioner skill. In my experience with one dentist, all were perfect, no pain, no failures even 10+ years later. With another, all painful, 2 fell out, not smooth... and he carved out way more enamel than necessary in their placement in my opinion. He said that was so it'd stay... what a farce...

Go back to your dentist, and have him cure the filling for two more cycles of the tool at two separate angles. You've already paid for the filling, and it was his error that led to the non-completion of the filling cure, so this will be of no cost to you. If he refuses to do this as included in the original payment, then take this issue up with your insurance company and they may recover payment for the entire service as you don't have the finished product.
 
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Could have been cured incompletely. Dental composites are cured with UV light. The composite will not cure with time, by design it will only cure with UV light. There are differences between curing tools, in penetration, in the collimated beam of light, and curing time: https://www.dentalaegis.com/id/2012/03/principles-of-light-curing

The dental composite could have been cured incompletely, causing pain. Consider for example, a pocket of liquid composite encased beneath the cured crystalline composite, the composite in this liquid phase may experience thermal expansion and contraction, causing pressure related stress and thus pain in your tooth.

There are significant difference between practitioner skill. In my experience with one dentist, all were perfect, no pain, no failures even 10+ years later. With another, all painful, 2 fell out, not smooth... and he carved out way more enamel than necessary in their placement in my opinion. He said that was so it'd stay... what a farce...

Go back to your dentist, and have him cure the filling for two more cycles of the tool at two separate angles. You've already paid for the filling, and it was his error that led to the non-completion of the filling cure, so this will be of no cost to you. If he refuses to do this as included in the original payment, then take this issue up with your insurance company and they may recover payment for the entire service as you don't have the finished product.

Thanks. I will have to take care of this with another dentist. After that last visit when I turned down his offer to fill it some more I called back a couple days later to take him up on that offer if it didn't expire, especially as he seemed so concerned, at least that is what his fake face expressed, and apparently not only did that offer expire, our relationship did lol. His receptionist basically broke up with me over the phone telling me he would no longer take me as a patient. Not that I expected him to tell me this at that last visit but the fakeness of his whole act telling me he could tell I wasn't happy, duh, what did he expect? Felt condescending the way he said that now that I think back about it. He was probably thinking condescendingly towards me. 'awe, you're feelings are hurt' what an unprofessional douchebag. I wasn't rude in any way, simply I was using my brain and expressing myself honestly and politely and apparently HE was the one who's feelings were so badly hurt. He just proved my point that you ought not take some "expert's" word on anything. He's no more an expert than your typical auto mechanic. Maybe I've had bad experiences with them but you'd expect a bit more expertise from someone working on your body, your health. As an expert one should know it's possible they've messed up, and regardless, a patient should be encouraged to second guess an expert's imperfect knowledge. Anyway... I've left an informative review on Google for others considering him.
 
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He just proved my point that you ought not take some "expert's" word on anything. He's no more an expert than your typical auto mechanic. Maybe I've had bad experiences with them but you'd expect a bit more expertise from someone working on your body, your health. As an expert one should know it's possible they've messed up, and regardless, a patient should be encouraged to second guess an expert's imperfect knowledge. Anyway... I've left an informative review on Google for others considering him.
Agreed. I blame subpar dental schools for the saturation of unethical dentists. Just a hunch... in my state news articles talk about how there are too many medical schools churning out too many medical professionals and how the population can't support them all.

Driven by greed, some dentists do not put your best interests above all else in their services to you. They may omit information would would help you make the best decision for you. Make sure your friends and family do not make the same mistake. Never return to that dentist, and leave a review on Yelp and say "I do not feel my best interests were put above all else." Other people should know exactly what that means.

I would strongly advise against elaborating with any other details in a public review as you may mistakenly make a statement that could be untrue and thus defamatory (and public untrue statements can be bad for you). Writing a review on Google is no good as they can hide any negative reviews from the public... Yelp does not allow the suppression of negative reviews while Google does.

There is a lot of upselling in this industry just as there is with professional car mechanics... I agree, it is a good analogy. Also verify the invoice matches your insurance company's record. One of my past denstists didn't submit certain claims paid with cash to the insurance company in order to remove a paper trail so they could get away with not paying taxes on those payments/income.

There are many trustworthy dentists, but there are also many unethical ones driven by greed. The trustworthy & honourable professionals would be wise to report misconduct they see done by other practitioners instead of protecting them...

Yes I'd consider calling your insurance company and file a complaint if he is unwilling to fix the issue with the filling, and get a refund that way. You may also file a complaint with your state medical board if you are in the U.S.
 
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