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Cold sensitivity in teeth. Had filling done. Recommended for root canal. Advise?

Hello my name is Pura, I am 15 years old (if that matters tooth wise) and I have a question about tooth #14. I had a filling done in tooth #14 about a year ago and it is really sensitive to cold (even to saliva ejectors at times; I feel the cold air from it). My filling was apparently really close to the nerve and I was told that I’d be fine. Ever since the filling was done, (the filling is metallic by the way), was when I became sensitive to the cold (cold liquid doesn’t affect me, only when it is directly put onto my tooth –like when I go in for cleanings). My dentist has recommended a Root Canal procedure but the thing is, I don’t feel any pain with it except for the sensitivity. Any recommendations or explanations of this? Thank you for your time.
Asked On : Wed, 4 Jul 2012
Answers:  8 Views:  177
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Dentist 's  Response
Hello and thank you for your question.
The nerve in the tooth has only one response to any type of stimulus: pain.
Metallic and non-metallic fillings have a different expansion coefficient than natural tooth. So if exposed to hot or cold it contracts and expands slightly different than the tooth and this can cause pain.

Does this cold sensitivity last only a 1-5 seconds? Or does it hurt 20-45 seconds after the cold has been removed from the tooth. If the pain lasts only when the cold is on the tooth then you are fine and this is a natural response to having a restorative procedure. The tooth will eventually calm down, this generally is within 2-3 weeks post operatively but can last up to a year or more. If the sensitivity/pain lasts longer than a few seconds than that is a sign of irreversible pulpitis and you will need to have a root canal in the tooth.

Try sensodyne toothpaste to see if this helps relieve the pain. Also, try drinking cool water rather than cold and avoid touching it with ice. I have had a sensitive tooth for 15 years in my mouth. It's still sensitive to cold but has diminished over the years.

Hang in there. You could electively get a root canal but this compromises the strength of the tooth.

Best wishes

Dr. Ward
Answered: Mon, 8 Oct 2012
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement Dr. Saurabh Gupta's  Response
Feb 2014

Thanks for writing in.

As your fillings is metallic, they can conduct hot and cold to the center of the tooth quite easily, and the teeth tend to remain sensitive to temperature for up to eight weeks.

As the decay was close to the pulp of the tooth. In this situation, some bacteria will always be present in the thin porous dentin between the filling and the tooth. With the tooth being irritated from being worked on, it creates a situation in which the tooth can easily become infected. If the sensitivity persists, it indicates that the tooth is not recovering from this tooth infection and will need a root canal treatment procedure.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care.

Answered: Mon, 8 Oct 2012
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Dentist Dr. Bindiya Bhaskar's  Response
your filled tooth has infected pulp already.the sensitivity you experience will progress unless if you do not take any other treatment.
as your dentist has already recommended root canal treatment for the tooth,visit your dentiist and get the filling removed.entire coronal and radicular pulp has to be extirpated.any pulp remaining within the canal can cause inflammation.
if only coronal pulp is infected,indirect pulp capping with vitapex or formocresol pulpotomy will be sufficient.
take treatment according to dentist's diagnosis.
Answered: Tue, 9 Oct 2012
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Dentist Dr. Neha Sumra's  Response
Welcome to HCM
I read your problem & would like to ask you few more questions regarding your tooth sensitivity that whether your sensitivity remains only on stimulation & disappears on withdrawal of symptom or its remains even after???
If it disappears 5-10 sec after withdrawal then its normal & known as reversible pulpitis but if remains then it can be irreversible pulpitis & you might require Root Canal Treatment.
You need to go for proper investigation.Go for an IOPAR of same tooth.
Meanwhile start with sensodent-k toothpaste twice a day.

Take Care
Answered: Mon, 8 Oct 2012
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Dentist, Implantology Dr. S.Naveen Kumar's  Response
Hi pura,
Thanks for asking your query,

Listen to what your dentist advised you,and go ahead with Root canal treatment.They are couple of things you should know why your dentist recommended for RCT.

1.First since the filling was metallic.amalgam filling material is called metallic, it can conduct hot and cold from the mouth environment to the pulp quite easily, enhancing the feeling of sensitivity. With tooth-colored composite fillings that provide better insulation of the tooth, sensitivity symptoms are rare.

2.Secondly dentist would have checked the vitality status of the nerve - sometimes when you have a large cavity or filling, the nerve in the tooth may die over time and you will have a lot of discomfort when you chew - if this is the case, you need a root canal.(or) suppose when a filling is very deep, it irritates the nerve of the tooth and if this does not go away over weeks to a month it is probably time for a root canal.

Visit your dentist as soon as possible,
Answered: Tue, 20 Aug 2013
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Dentist Dr. Yogesh Tripathi's  Response
sensitivity to cold in any tooth indicates that the pulp is near to exposure although it may have not been exposed really
now as you say that you had your filling done a year back and its still sensitive (sensitivity after filling mostly lasts for 6-8 weeks) ,so what i would suggest is that you start using some toothpaste for sensitive teeth iike thermoseal ra or colgate sensitive pro etc for 2-3 weeks time,if some dentinal tubules are carrying on the sensitivity to the pulp --the toothpaste will cover that
If even after 2-3 weeks you dont get relieved than i would advise that you go by your dentists advise--have a proper root canal treatment done along with capping of the tooth
best of luck
Answered: Mon, 19 Aug 2013
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Dentist Dr. Qazi Ammara's  Response

Thanks for asking the query,

If the cold sensitivity lasts for 5-10 seconds after the consumption of cold stuffs then it is normal, if it last more than that you need to get an IOPA x-ray done of the tooth.

Based upon the clinical and radiological examination root canal treatment can be performed.
Sensodyne K toothpaste can be used twice daily.

Maintain a good oral hygiene and use antispetic mouthwash rinses.

Hope this helps out,

Answered: Tue, 20 Aug 2013
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Dentist Dr. Lalit Saxena's  Response
mr pura your tooth #14 is sensitive for cold it means nerves are exposed to external environment , so now root canal is the option for the treatment other in future it may turn into root abscess or other complications so go for the root canal treatment.
Answered: Wed, 4 Jul 2012
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