Mercury-free dentist gave me white fillings that hurt.

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Copy of composite filling

Copy of composite filling


I went to a mercury-free dentist in my area and had white composite fillings done. After the numbness wore off, I noticed that it hurt to chew. For the time being, the pain is tolerable. However, it seems like I always get a very sharp pain for a second after chewing something hard or crunchy.

Honestly, it is bizarre. For example, when I clench my teeth together, there is no pain. But, when I eat certain foods, the pain occurs.

Do you have any recommendations about what I should do? Do these mercury-free fillings need to be replaced? I’ve never experienced anything like this with other fillings.

Therefore, any input you have would be greatly appreciated.

-Paul in Illinois


The situation that you are describing isn’t out of the ordinary. However, there have been patients who experience sensitivity with certain composite fillings. Most times, it tends to be for small composite fillings versus larger composite fillings. In those cases, it is possible that the sensitivity is an indicator that the composite is bonded directly to the dentin of the tooth.

So, it would be in your best interest to find a dentist that uses a glass ionomer base. Call around to dentists in your area and find out if the dentist uses self-etching primers or glass ionomer bases.

The good news is that sensitivity with composite fillings can be addressed. First, you need to find a dentist that uses the glass ionomer base under the filling. This step will ensure that the dentin is protected on your tooth. Then, it is best to be upfront with the dentist and insist they use the glass ionomer. Lastly, if for some reason you are met with resistance, this isn’t the dentist for you.

Please update us on your search. Then, please check back and let us know how it goes after the mercury-free fillings are replaced. Thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Lexington cosmetic dentist Hamburg Expressions.