Pain with White Filling and Dentist

I’m at my wit’s end. I had a small filling done on a back tooth. It’s a white filling, which I was extremely excited about. All my other fillings are silver, which I just learned have a ton of mercury in them. The problem I’m having is there is some pain with the filling.

I’ve gone to my dentist and he thinks the problem is my bite and has recommended a root canal treatment and dental crown. This seemed like overkill for a tooth which just needed a small filling. I did some research and think it is because of the filling itself. Here’s what I read off the blog,

“With composite fillings, there is an unusual kind of sensitivity that sometimes occurs. With this sensitivity, the tooth is not sensitive when you clench your teeth together but will experience a sharp pain when food is chewed. . . . Curiously, it tends to occur most often in smaller fillings. When it occurs, replacing the filling with another composite filling can eliminate the sensitivity.”

This describes my situation exactly. Have you encountered this? If so, can you recommned a way to convince my dentist of this? Also, I was thinking of having him remove my silver fillings and replace them with the composite fillings, now that I know about the mercury. Is that possible?


Dear Katy,

before and after mercury-free fillings

I’m having a hard time comprehending why your dentist is recommending a root canal treatment and dental crown on a tooth that is not infected. Sure if you want to drop $2,000+ on an unnecessary treatment which removes healthy tooth structure go for it. Otherwise, you’re going to have to get pretty firm with your dentist.

You can try bringing a copy of the information you read on That combined with the fact that it describes your symptoms exactly should be enough, but remember he’s trying to charge you a couple of thousand dollars for something he should be fixing for free. I’m not sure how far you’ll get with him. Other dentists have found that simply replacing the filling while putting in a glass ionomer base that completely covers the dentin before the tooth is etched solves the problem every time.

What If He Refuses?

If your dentist won’t make things right, I suggest you tell him that you’ll be going to another dentist to have this fixed and once it solves the problem, you’re going to have him pay for the appointment.

You can also tell him that you’ll be complaining to the dental board as well as writing negative reviews for him online. Hopefully, that will spur him to get his act together.

Replacing Silver Fillings

Yes, it is possible to have your old silver fillings replaced with mercury-free white fillings. However, because of the high mercury content, you’ll need to do a sanitary amalgam removal. This will prevent you from inhaling any mercury or mercury vapors. I’d start by looking at dentists who advertise on their websites as being either mercury-free dentists or holistic dentists. Both of those should have the knowledge and equipment to do this safely.

This blog is brought to you by Baton Rouge Dentist Dr. Steven Collins.