Traveler's Edition icon
Traveler's Edition
  •   2 min read

Today’s topic is teeth: your pearly whites and getting dental work done before you go away. Have you ever been told you shouldn’t fly with a fresh filling? There seems to be a general fear on travel forums of flying right after a visit to the dentist, but is it true?

There are two sides to this travel myth: one in favor of flying with fresh dental work, and one against it. First up, there are those who swear their dental work ruined their vacation and wish they’d never got on a place so soon after having a filling. But on the other side of the coin, there are those who had dental work done right before traveling and didn’t feel a thing. So, who’s right?

Can You Fly With Dental Work?

One thing to take into consideration is what kind of dental work you’ve had done. When it comes to routine work such as fillings, there’s no reason why you can’t fly. However, the change in altitude while in flight may be a cause of minor discomfort for anyone who recently had dental work and is something to be aware of. The level of pain, if there’s any at all, will depend on how sensitive your teeth are, how close the dental work was to a nerve, and also your pain threshold.

When it comes to any surgical dental work, such as implants or the removal of wisdom teeth, you may want to wait a little longer before you fly. Take a couple days to rest and recover before hopping on board a flight – especially one where jet lag may be a factor at the other end! Implants in particular can be an issue, so wait 48 hours before taking a flight.

Woman on airplane

Tips To Cope

If you’re one of the unfortunate ones with sensitive teeth, you may be more susceptible to pain in flight. Here are a few ways to cope while on the go: to help lessen discomfort, take an Advil or other pain reliever (following the instructions of your personal physician) before your flight. The anti-inflammatory properties of the drug should help with any discomfort.

Another solution is to make sure that all of your dental work is done at least a couple of weeks before you travel. If your dental appointment is within a few days of flying, let your dentist know. Changes in air pressure can also cause minor pain and discomfort to cavities and loose fillings.

So just to be safe, rearrange your appointment and book your flights now.

Have you ever flown right after dental work? How did you feel during the flight?

IMG: Shutterstock

2 responses to “Tooth Talk: Can I Fly With Fresh Dental Work?

  1. Mary Ellen, they could have been deep fillings also. Amalgam fillings take a lot of tooth structure out. Some patient’s get sensitivity after getting them filled with new composite material, it takes time for the nerve in the tooth to settle down. I would suggest you contact your dentist to see if anything happen or if you need adjustments. Don’t depend on what the internet says, especially if work was done correctly.

  2. I had my amalgams removed and refilled. I just got back from a trip. I flew there and flew back 2 – 3 weeks after dental procedure. While flying at a high altitude, I was in excruciating pain with my new fillings (both upper and lower on the left side of my mouth). I felt like the teeth with the new fillings were being drilled without novocaine. This happened on both flights and I was in pain for quite some time, mostly at the highest altitudes. I looked up this issue on the internet and the article said there are probably air pockets in the fillings that need to be fixed and that the problem will happen again if it is not addressed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

footer logo
Made with for you