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At Lotus Smiles Dental we perform fillings daily, and we’re committed to ensuring our patients have a comfortable experience. It is normal to expect some degree of tooth sensitivity after filling, especially if you had a large cavity that was close to a nerve. In the majority of cases tooth sensitivity improves in the days after your filling.


What Happens During A Dental Filling Procedure?

Before your dentist gets to work, he or she will first inject some local anaesthetic into the gum closest to your cavity. If you have experienced toothache because of your cavity, you may already feel sensitive in the area. 


What does it feel like?

You will feel a slight prick from the injection but once the anaesthetic starts working, all sensation will be removed so that your tooth filling procedure is comfortable.

Before your dentist can fill the cavity in your tooth, he or she first needs to remove the decay. Your dentist will use a drill to remove the decayed parts of your tooth, before filling the cavity with your agreed dental filling material. Composite resin, gold, porcelain and silver amalgam are the most common materials for dental fillings.


What Can You Expect After Dental Fillings?

Sensation will return to your mouth once the anaesthetic wears off. How long this takes depends on the person. It’s possible to feel the effects of the anaesthetic for a few hours after the procedure. Some of the most common side effects include: 

  • Numbness
  • Itchiness
  • Puffiness 

You may also find it difficult to swallow, chew, talk or move your face.

Because your face may still feel numb and there’s a chance you could bite your tongue or the side of your cheek, your dentist will advise you not to eat or drink for a few hours. 

What To Expect After The Anaesthetic Has Worn Off

Patients who have dental fillings will need to adjust a little once the anaesthetic has worn off. Tooth sensitivity is a relatively normal side effect after a filling.


Tooth Pain And Sensitivity After Dental Fillings

Tooth sensitivity is different to pain, and it is usually caused by different triggers. When you have tooth sensitivity you can feel an intense and uncomfortable sensation that seems to reach deep into your gum. Some patients describe the feeling like a shock or jabbing pain, with a quick onset.


What Triggers Tooth Sensitivity? 

Some common triggers for tooth sensitivity after dental fillings include

  • Very sweet or sugary foods 
  • Hot beverages and soup
  • Cold or icy food and drink like ice cream, chilled beverages and ice
  • Cold air hitting your tooth


Why Do Dental Fillings Cause Tooth Sensitivity?

In the majority of cases, tooth sensitivity after filling goes away after a short period of time. Sometimes it is necessary to chat with your dentist. Let’s take a closer look at when that’s necessary:


An inflamed nerve

The most common cause of short term tooth sensitivity after a filling is because the nerve inside your tooth has become inflamed. If your dentist has performed a deep filling, it’s possible it got close to the nerve resulting in discomfort or sensitivity.

This sensation should heal as your nerve heals. It could take a few days or a few weeks, but it should improve rather than get worse. Over time, your tooth will start to feel as normal as the other teeth in your mouth.


Misalignment in your jaw

When your dentist makes and places your filling, it must fit correctly against your other jaw, and line up when you bite. Because your dentist has used local anaesthetic and you won’t much sensation in your mouth, you might not always realise that your jaws are misaligned until the anaesthetic wears off.

If you get home and you experience sensitivity when biting, you may need to have your dental fillings adjusted by your dentist.



While it is rare, it is possible to develop an inflammation of your tooth pulp, known as pulpitis. Pulpitis can cause pain and tooth sensitivity.

It may occur when:

  • You have a deep cavity that extends into the inner pulp
  • You have had multiple procedures or fillings on the affected tooth
  • A trauma to your tooth that has broken or cracked it.


Managing Tooth Sensitivity

Ask your dentist to recommend toothpaste for sensitive teeth. it might give  you relief straight away but you should feel an improvement in a few days of use, brushing twice a day.

Remember to brush and floss gently but thoroughly, so as not to aggravate sensitivity.

Still have questions about tooth sensitivity after filling? Please contact us for assistance:  (03) 8737 9359