Tooth #2 sensitive one month post filling - advice appreciated, thanks

Jul 28, 2020
Hello. I went to the dentist for a regular check up and they told me I have a cavity that needs filling for tooth number 2 (I believe). There was no pain or discomfort before the filling. You can see the cavity on the x ray (see attached 'Pre-Filling'). I got the filling about 1 month ago and the first couple days I did not feel sensitive to hot or cold but chewing on it felt a bit tender. Oddly enough, after a few days it felt better to chew on but started sensitivity to cold but very slight. The cold sensitivity slowly grew until it was pretty sensitive a couple weeks after the filling. If something cold hit it, it would feel very sensitive but as soon as the cold was moved away, it felt almost immediately fine. However by about 3 weeks after filling, once the cold was removed it immediately felt a lot better, but it would have a dull ache for a couple minutes and then feel fine.

About 4 days ago hot tea started to have the same effect as the cold (but not as bad), so yesterday I went back to the dentist. They did the paper test and slightly adjusted my filling because it was a little high and marked the paper blue. They said the filling was fine and that maybe I would need a root canal because it was a big filling. I do not want to rush into a root canal and wanted extra eyes on the before and after for others to hear the situation. Seeing if maybe it is worth waiting awhile and if it stays sensitive to try to get the filling re-done? If you look at the before and after (see attached 'Post-Filling_circled'), I notice an area below the filing where it looks to me is the edge of the cavity, could some of the cavity have been missed? I pointed it out to the dentist but they said that was nothing.

I had never gone to this dentist before and they had a very hard time at certain stages of the filling and reaching the spot. At some point I think they got their glove stuck while trying to position the (Matrix?). It seemed like the glove was stuck there for awhile and I could see the dentist looking at the assistant and vice versa with an 'aw crap' look on both of their faces. Anyway, this did make me feel less confident and wonder if maybe bacteria could have gotten under the filling or the dentist could not adequately access the area to get the entire cavity?

Your advice would be appreciated to guide me on next steps and if it is worth avoiding a root canal more. I have a bad experience with root canals because my 4 front bottom teeth were knocked back in a sports injury and needed root canal. Many years later they got infected and I was told by a clinic to do apicoectomies which were done very aggressively and did not work and also made my gums feel weird and scar tissue feels stiff.

That same clinic wanted to pull them and give me partial dentures. I went to a very reputable endodontist that said it was a shame that I didn't see him first and that he could see a missed canal that probably caused the problem for all 4 of the teeth and if treated would have remedied the area, but that now since the other place took over half of the below tooth structure of all those teeth, I cannot keep any of them. I am actually just healing from a special bone graft with special bone protein just for hopes that enough bone can grow for getting an implant supported bridge instead of dentures. So I am extra bummed about this cavity because I feel like one very long tooth saga was about to come to an end as I am hoping to get the 2 implants for the bridge soon. Now I only have one section of my mouth that I can comfortably eat with. So even though normally a cavity is not so big of a deal, this is just kind of feeling extra depressing for me.

I also looked back on older x rays and I can see this cavity, only smaller. I always went to the dentists that took my not so great insurance and now I wonder if they told me the treatment best for me or just ones that they would cover or something. I do not know why no one saw the cavity for years. I also was told apicoectomies were a minor tiny procedure and was told it was better than re-treatments, which is what I originally came to them asking about. They wound up taking half of my teeth and leaving a defect in my jaw bone which another endodontist said was not even necessary.

Sorry I kind of went off topic. I guess while typing this is my entire mouth situation is getting to me. Anyway for the main cavity issue, just a couple last notes that are maybe helpful:
-My bite never felt very off but I do remember touching the surface of the filling with my tongue and it felt kind of flat. A few days in, about the same time sensitivity came, it felt a bit more concave.
-Only one specific area is very sensitive. I tested it with a frozen corn. I could place the corn all around the tooth and nothing, but if I placed it at this one spot on the side looking out of my mouth down by the gums t would be pretty intensely sensitive.
-The sensitivity is sometimes worse after I wake up which makes me feel like maybe the filling is high and while I am sleeping I am bothering it more than when I am awake and actively trying to be careful with it.

Thanks a lot for your time

p.s. This dentist also said that I needed scaling, which I was warned about by the dental clinic who did my apicoectomies. I was on Chlorhexidine for like 2 months which is way longer than you are supposed to from what I've read. They said it is fine but I may need special cleaning due to the long use Chlorhexidine causing tartar build up, or something like that. Is that something that can be seen in an x-ray to confirm that I need? If it can be seen in an x-ray I can post it in a different topic if it does not count as this topic, thanks.


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