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High Fillings Explained

HighFillingIf you have had a recent filling, you may have been perplexed if your dentist told you to bite down on a colored piece of paper, and then asked: “does your filling feel too high?” Most patients experience a degree of anxiety about having a dental procedure performed on them, naturally, so when you’ve come to the end, you’re likely ready to go home. Add this to the challenge that your mouth is probably still numb from general anesthetic, and you may find the high filling question a little difficult to answer. However, if you end up with a filling set too high, you’re likely to end up feeling considerable discomfort.

Why Does a High Filling Cause Discomfort?

High fillings put stress on your periodontal ligament. The inflammation causes tenderness, discomfort, and sometimes out-and-out pain. Every time you bite down with a high filling, you can even end up with acute apical periodontitis (also known as symptomatic apical periodontitis). Feeling pain at the site of your new filling might really concern you. Could this be an infection? Am I going to have to get the filling done all over again? Luckily, if your problem is a high filling, your dentist will likely have a swift solution. Going in to see Dr. Johnson to get the high filling ground down to the right level to even out your bite will usually only require a few minutes back in the dental chair.

How to Identify a High Filling

After you’ve left your dentist’s office, and the local anesthetic has worn off, a little discomfort might be usual with a new filling. However, if you feel actual pain, or the discomfort lasts for days, you likely have a high filling. You may also feel a misalignment when you bite down. If your new filling just doesn’t feel right, call your dentist immediately. Once the filling is corrected, your periodontal ligament may still need a little time to heal, but you are likely to feel as good as new within two weeks.

Visit your Des Moines Dentist

If you are looking for a dentist in the Des Moines area that delivers award winning dental care, contact Dr. Jessica Johnson. To schedule your visit at Valley Ridge Family Dental, contact our West Des Moines dentist office at (515) 223-9764. We serve West Des Moines, Waukeen, Clive, Urbandale, and the surrounding Des Moines metro communities.


MapValley Ridge Family Dental
6150 Village View Drive, #109,
West Des Moines, IA, 50266
Phone: 515.223.9764
After-hours emergency: 515.423.0445
Fax: 515.327.6230

Office Hours

Monday: 8 am-5 pm
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: 8 am-5 pm
Thursday: 7:30 am- 1:30 pm
Friday: 7:30 am-4:30 pm