Sensitivity when filling requires sedation?!

Nov 8, 2011
My far back right tooth broke slightly after a punch to the face years ago, only a little fell out and it wasn't causing me any difficulty so I left it. This was about 6 years ago. A couple of times over the years it got a bit sore, I brushed it and the gums bled a little, but both times the next morning it was fine.

About 6 months ago I was eating a granary baguette and the tooth broke. Around this time I noticed that the tooth smelled pretty bad. Therefore I thought I'd better see the dentist. This was probably the first time I'd been in 7-8 years. She thought she might be able to put a filling in that one, and I needed another filling.

I had orthodontic treatment (I had them off around the same time I last went to the dentist) and the retaining wire on the inside of my bottom teeth is still there. There was quite a lot of build up on this, so I visited the hygenist who scraped off 7-8 years worth of the build up. It was uncomfortable and there was quite a bit of blood, but my teeth felt good.

Anyway, I went to have my fillings done. She gave me injections and started on my broken tooth, but soon saw that the decay went under the gum line and just put a temporary filling in there. She said I could either have it out or they could attempt root canal.
For the other filling, she started drilling, and it felt pretty sharp. Sometimes she'd be drilling and I wouldn't feel a thing, sometimes it would be sharp. So I relaxed as best I could and thought of other things, but she'd still sometimes hit a sharp bit and make me wince. I was trying hard to ignore it so sometimes I'd just blink or squint a little and she'd back off. She turned the water off which seemed to help at first, but then it'd hurt again.

She said the anaesthetic wouldn't prevent it being sensitive. I don't really understand what she meant by this. It wasn't really bad pain but it was a nasty feeling. She kept saying if I couldn't cope with the pain she'd have to refer me to someone for sedation. I said I was OK to continue. She said to raise my hand if it hurt, but I wanted her to just do it. In the end she said she could see I wasn't comfortable, and that made her uncomfortable, so she was going to refer me to a community dentist for the filling and extraction under sedation.

I'm not a great fan of dental treatment but I didn't go there feeling anxious. I've had two teeth out under local anaesthetic before and it was fine. I admit I was quite tense, but I did relax myself when it started causing me discomfort.

Although having my teeth crushed is probably my Room 101, I didn't think I had a problem with dental treatment, and I didn't think I had a low pain threshold either. Am I a bad patient, because that's how I felt? Are you supposed to be able to suppress the wince?
Dec 3, 2011
Pain on filling

I think you didn't have the tooth anaesthetised properly. I have had pain like this before and then been given a different injection straight into the tooth (don't know what it is) which works instantly.
It's not you and you should insist on sufficient anaesthesia for comfort

Jan 11, 2012
Sedation issues

I completely agree. I've had issues with being sedated and with anesthesia and have had to stop them mid drill or mid cut. Always alert your dentist to any issues. They are they to help not hurt you.


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