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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

New composite filling



Hello, I just had a small cavity that grew on my back molar at the edge of an old composite filling. I didn`t even notice the cavity but it was discovered during a routine visit. He removed the decay and old filling without Novocain and it was only mildly uncomfortable. However, it has been about 6 hours since the procedure was done and my tooth (which had no pain before) has started a light throbbing pain. I have read that sometimes the material used during the filling can irritate the tooth but I am uncertain how painful it should/shouldn’t be. Because he filled it without Novocain, does that mean it was not deep and I can rule out and forming abscess? I have been taking 800mg of ibuprofen for the pain but can eat and drink fin on it. It just bothers me when I am doing nothing. Thank you for your help.


From what you are telling me, the filling does not sound very deep. If this is the case, an abscess would be very rare. Sometimes, the tooth dries out a little too much during the filling process. It is much more of a problem with composite fillings than silver fillings. When this happens, the tooth can be painful for a few days. If it continues for more than a week, return to your dentist.

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Response by:

Daniel Nathan Reed, DDS Daniel Nathan Reed, DDS
Clinical Associate Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University