Store bought fillings aren’t working

I bought some filling material at a drug store to deal with a small cavity I had, but it isn’t working. It’s been in for a few months, but my tooth feels worse. What should I do? I don’t actually have a dentist, which is why I treated it myself.

Henry G. – West Virginia


Those store bought fillings are only meant to be temporary, a few days at most, until you can get in to see your dentist. You need to see a dentist as soon as possible. If you have a hard time getting in to see a dentist, you should google an emergency dentist. They are willing to work  you in the same day.

I wouldn’t put this off. Tooth infections can spread into your blood stream and even to your brain. There have been people who have died from a tooth infection.

I know it is tempting, with all the modern conveniences we have, to be tempted to treat yourself, but that is a very dangerous thing to do.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. John Theriot.


It tooks 10 shots of novocaine

Can you tell me why it took 10 shots of novocaine to get me numb?

Dan M. – Portland, OR


Two possibilities come to mind. The first is that your dentist missed the location, though it is unlikely that would happen so many times. The second, more likely scenario, is that you have a dental anxiety. Many dentists aren’t aware that dental anxiety can burn off a local anesthetic. There is a solution though.

What you need is something to relax you before your procedure.  I don’t want you to relax yourself by self medicating. That could be dangerous depending on what you used. Instead, ask your dentist if he does sedation dentistry. Depending on your level of anxiety you may just need something as light as some nitrous oxide before your injection.  That will relax you enough to allow the local anesthetic to work.

If that isn’t enough, there are other options that will give you a deeper level of sedation if necessary.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. John Theriot.