Category Archives: White Fillings

Pain with Composite Fillings

I had to get four fillings on my back teeth. One of them is fine, but three of them are giving me a lot of pain when I am chewing. The weird thing is there is not pain when I just bite down. it’s the chewing that is the problem. My dentist has checked the bite and says it is fine. Now she’s talking about removing the fillings and doing a root canal. I don’t want to do that if it is not necessary. I don’t want to lose teeth over small cavities. I feel like I need someone with more expertise here. What do you recommend I do?


Dear Evelyn,

Left: silver amalgam filling Right: mercury-free composite filling

I agree that you need someone with more expertise. When there is pain with chewing as opposed to pain with biting, the problem is the way the fillings were bonded on.

Most dental schools are still teaching dentists to put amalgam fillings on posterior teeth. Before that, they were only teaching amalgam fillings. Unfortunately, the method for placing amalgam (silver) and composite (white) fillings are quite different. If a dentist wants to place white fillings, they have to take post-doctoral training in the correct procedures to do so.

I would not have your dentist be the one to re-do these. First, three-fourths of them have this problem, which tells me she does not understand this bonding method. Second, she’s already bringing up a root canal treatment, which tells me she’s sort of giving up on these teeth.

My suggestion is you look for a mercury-free dentist. They will have much more experience placing white fillings on posterior teeth.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.