There's a bit of history to this question: I had pain in a lower molar when chewing on certain foods for about 2 years. The pain became progressively worse, and I saw 2 dentists in attempt to find the cause. They guessed it could be a small crack in the tooth, but were unable to replicate the pain by doing various tests. The pain started to get quite a bit worse about 2 months ago. I saw an endodontist who was able to replicate the pain and determine which tooth had the crack (tooth #30). He recommended seeing my dentist and having either a full crown on onlay put on the tooth to hopefully fix the pain issue without need for a root canal. I made an appointment with my dentist, but my tooth broke while I was eating, just a few days before my appointment. Pretty amazing timing considering I'd had the crack for about 2 years! It wasn't a huge break, basically a part of a cusp fractured off. I saw the dentist the next day, and she said she could try to restore the broken area with a filling. We made an appointment for the next week.
While the tooth was broken, it was less sensitive to chew on, but if I touched inside the broken area, even with my tongue in the right spot, there was a very sensitive pain. The dentist had taken an x-ray and saw no decay or inflammation, but the fractured off area looked like it was pretty close to the pulp.
After having the (composite) filling placed last week, I am very discouraged to find that I again have regular pain when chewing food with that tooth, enough so to cause me to only chew on the other side of my mouth. It's not as severe of a sharp pain as before the cracked piece broke off, but it actually happens more easily (less force needs to be applied to cause the pain). The dentist said that the tooth would likely be sensitive for a month or more, but this seems like more than post-operative sensitivity. It's not actually sensitive to cold or hot at all, only the pressure. Even just pressing lightly on the filling area with my finger causes pain.
I guess my question is: what seems the most likely cause of this continued (but different) pain? Is there another hairline crack extending through part of the tooth (maybe a continuation of the crack that caused the cusp fracture, or a separate crack)? Is the composite filling pressing on a sensitive, thin layer of dentin above the nerve and transmitting pain when pressure is applied? Maybe the filling wasn't well placed?
It's seeming like a full crown is probably going to be needed to get this tooth to stop hurting during chewing. I was actually glad when the cusp broke off because I figured that was a good way for the crack to reveal itself, and that maybe a filling would be enough, but it seems like there is still a problem.
Thank you in advance for any input, similar experiences, or advice!