“ Dear doctor!

My tooth hurts a little bit when I eat food. Could this be because I have been eating on only my right side for a month? I went to a dentist a month ago, and he told me that I need to change my fillings from amalgam fillings (3 of them), and he also filled two of my teeth. One of the fillings was extremely painful and a root canal treatment is underway.

But my dentist had to go on vacation, so I can only eat on one side of my mouth. I was eating some chewy meat, and I felt sensitivity in my refilled teeth. The pain is not unbearable, but the thought of getting root canals on those teeth gave me goosebumps. I have a low threshold for pain, I sometimes can cry even with anaesthetic form a simple filling! I sometimes feel pain when I bite down though, and a tooth behind a root canaled tooth was hurting, but that has stopped now. I thought maybe my wisdom teeth are coming in, but I am only 16, so maybe this is not the case. I read somewhere that teeth are only sensitive if something is wrong with them. Is this the case? Should i mention this to my dentist when he gets back from holiday? I need to go back anyhow, but I am terribly afraid of a root canal, as those are super painful.




Dear Daphne!

If you really want to know my opinion, I would say you should definitely tell your dentist of any problems you may have with your teeth. If you don’t tell him, the problems are not going to go away. If you do tell him, he will see if there is a problem and try to solve it, and if there isn’t one, at least you will get some peace of mind.

There is no need to be afraid of a root canal right off the bat, it is not a solution to all problems and is only used when absolutely necessary. Root canals become necessary when the inside of the tooth dies, or if the tooth becomes infected.

If you have just had your fillings changed, you may just need to wait a few more days,a s sensitivity is a common side effect of this treatment.

If there is anything more serious, your doctor may remove the filling and let it air out, and may place a root filling in the tooth until the tooth calms down. You should also mention that the tooth behind this tooth was painful, too. I doubt that chewing on one side of the face for a few days will cause damage or pain, but anything can happen.      

If a root canal does become necessary, make sure you mention your fears to your dentist. The dentist can help you with this fear, he encounters it all the time; he may give you some information that can calm you down, maybe use some different anaesthetics, and can look into what else can be done to ease the pain. An honest exchange of ideas is always the best course of action!

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