Dentist Questions Dental filling

My dental filling keeps coming out. What should I do?

My dental filling in one of my back teeth keeps coming out. This is now the 3rd time. Should I find a new dentist?

19 Answers

There are reasons why some restorations fall out. Patients think that once a tooth has been fixed, the repair has made the tooth stronger. If it is a large filling, if the filling is on biting edge? You may have been told that the filling may not hold. I know patients will bite into apples or chew ice. The newer restorative materials are great. You can take a small nib of a tooth and make a whole tooth out of the material. It can look great, but it will not last. Insurance companies believe that patients do not take care of their mouth the way they should. That is why insurance has patients paying for part of their gum treatment, crowns, bridges. Insurance companies do not pay for a filling to be done again. Who paid for the first two restorations? Your insurance. If you have it. PAID for the first restoration? Your tooth may not have structure in your tooth for a filling, you may have been told that you need a different type of restoration---a crown? If you choose to see another dentist, you may be told that you need a crown. Placing a restoration in the same tooth by a different dentist and using the same insurance, your new dentist may not be PAID.

Has your dentist discussed with you why this may happen in your case or warned you of this possibility based on your bite/occlusion? Sometimes, if the bite forces are too high or the teeth are extremely worn, this may cause an issue with retention. If a reasonable explanation was provided or your dentist showed you a photograph of your situation, it may explain what/why this is happening. If you are not satisfied with the answers you are getting, consider getting a second opinion so that you can have peace of mind.
Hmm, could be a variety of reasons. If your dentist cannot provide a good reason and assurance that it can be restored more durably, then a second opinion would be okay.
Time to try a different dentist!

If the filling is too big, you might need to get a crown to be strong enough for it to last with your bite. If it is a small filling, you might need to find another dentist. I usually try to let a patient know if a filling is larger than ideal. Then, if there are issues with it in the future, they are already informed of the need for a crown.
Ask your dentist why it keeps coming out, and he has to figure it out why that is happening. Maybe that is due to the material and the technique used, your bite (severe grinding habit), or the night guard (if you have one).
Many times, the fillings are too large and there is not enough tooth structure to hold the filling in. In this case, a crown is required to better support and protect the remaining tooth.


Richard J. Staller, D.D.S.
Sounds like you need to put a crown on that tooth.


Dr. Milman
Yes. Yesterday!!!!
This is a multifaceted question and not one that is easily answered. You did not mention which tooth the filling was placed in back or front. Fillings placed in back teeth usually take a full 24 hours to get their final set. If you were a precocious popcorn eater and encountered a kernel during this period of time, it's easy to have fractured the filling and ruined it. I give this only a 10% probability in my scenario. But it bears mentioning. It's most likely wanted to causes related to the choice the dentist made exactly what restoration to recommend, and this has a huge difference in cost factor which may or may not have clouded his judgment and his effort to solve the problem. Metal restorations, or fillings as they are often called, are usually the treatment of choice for most routine restorative procedures. It is possible that your dentist, in trying to be conservative, recommended a metal filling rather than full coverage crown, which would have been the most expeditious method of treatment, but also the most expensive. This would be a judgement call and the rather unfortunate one given that it has failed several times. My heart goes out to you in this consideration if you do continue to see this dentist, but I think I would change based on the information given off the top of my head.

Good luck.
I'm sorry to hear about your bad luck with that filling. My answer to your question is "not necessarily". However, I would ask your dentist WHY he/she thinks it has come out.
There are several possible reasons for it, including:
1. Contamination (from saliva, blood, or other debris) of filling/tooth area during the filling procedure
2. Poor-quality filling material or insufficient light-curing of filling material
3. The filling is too large (pushing beyond the physical limitations of normal filling materials), where a partial or full-coverage crown may be required instead.
4. Your bite or grinding/clenching habits, if any, can seriously affect filling retention and wear
5. Your diet: acid erosion - most often from dietary acidic foods and drinks, but sometimes from acid reflux (from stomach). This is a growing trend unfortunately. I have many patients suffering from acid reflux and/or have highly-acidic diets, and as a result, I sometimes have to replace a filling occasionally because the margins of tooth that initially supported the filling have dissolved away.
So... ask your dentist what can be done to ensure filling stays put. If you don't get a good explanation, then you may want to find another dentist - at least for a 2nd opinion. Obviously this depends on your relationship and trust in your current dentist.
I hope your haven't been charged for them each time. I always provide a limited warranty for my fillings, to all of my patients. Ask your current dentist about that.
Hope this helped.
Possibly, yes. However, there may be underlying problems causing the filling to dislodge. You may be a very heavy grinder, your bite may be off, or the tooth may not have enough structure around it in order to hold a filling in place. In that instance, a crown may be indicated. These are questions that your dentist should be able to answer and explain to you.
New bonded fillings are very difficult to fall out.
It depends on what surface the filling is on. Sometimes if a filling is on the side near the gum line, more retention is required to lock the filling in. Local anesthetic is needed for this procedure.