Can a filling cause an abscess?

by cheryl
(Oregon)

I had a new filling in a tooth 3rd from the back the dentist found new cavity in the second tooth from the back and filled it as well. had to go back after 18 days because of the pain he tried to adjust the filling and sent me home. one week later I had to call and tell them that the tooth is getting worse. I held out for about another week before having to call again due to the terrible pain in the tooth. I had to go in and he replaced the filling to the second tooth from the back, this did help
after two weeks the pain was only in the gum above the tooth. on week three I now have an abscessed tooth and need a $1200 dollar root canal and crown. My tooth had no pain before any of this and I am wondering if the filling he put in is what caused this abscess.

Reply:

Hi Cheryl, I sorry you're having so much trouble with your tooth.

A new filling typically does not cause an abscess but sometimes when a filing is close to the nerve, it does end up getting an abscess and needing a root canal. It is understandably frustrating when this happens especially when you had no pain prior to the filling.

Fillings that are large or close to the nerve sometimes irritate the nerve to the point of the tooth needing a root canal. If there was decay on the tooth, the dentist provided the right treatment in filling it and hopefully gave you a heads up that it could eventually need a root canal.

The most important thing now is to get the tooth treated and have it feel good again. Hopefully your dentist will credit the cost of the filling toward the root canal and crown fee. Some dentists do that as a courtesy to their patients.

Hope you feel better soon.
Thanks for writing,
~Shelly

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