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FAQ:  Fillings

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Fillings/Root Canal: I had some work performed at an NY-area dental school six months ago. After experiencing pain in the teeth worked on at that time, I visited another dentist who told me that my last practicioner had left decay in my old tooth and I now need a replacement filling and possibly a root canal.

When I approached my old dentist about the issue, he denied that any work at all was necessary. The issue separating the two dentists is a very slim black line which shows up on x-rays between my composite filling and the remaining tooth. One dentist says that such "shadings" are normal between the tooth and filling, the other tells me that it is decay and I need to have the too re-drilled.

I have no idea who is correct. Any information you can provide would be EXTREMELY helpful. ...Visitor from NY

The fine radiolucent (black line) in an xray after a composite filling has been a topic of debate in the dental world for a long time. If the line is basically uniform in dimensions then it is most likely a line (adhesive non-filled resin) which is placed between the tooth and the restoration.

Pain in teeth with composite fillings are normal due to the trauma and the acid etching which is involved. The acid cleans out the tooth's small tubes which lead to the nerve and it takes time for the tubes to plug up again (this is similiar to having sensitive teeth because the root is exposed).

Depending upon the pain, you may want to wait for some time (even a few months) before replacing or having a root canal done.

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