I have a cavity in my top left canine tooth. My dentist filled the tooth, and the filling came out within a month. Last September, the filling came out again, and now the filling feels rough. This is a white filling, by the way. I don’t accept silver ones. I saw my dentist about the rough filling last week. Rather than replace the filling, he recommends getting a dental crown to prevent another filling from falling out. Isn’t this the wrong idea for solving the issue? Shouldn’t my dentist try to figure out why the filling will not stay in? Thank you, Rachel
Thank you for contacting Dr. Gavrilos’ office. We understand your concerns and what sounds like an aggressive treatment for a dental filling that keeps falling out. Although Dr. Gavrilos would need to examine and x-ray your tooth for an accurate diagnosis, we will explain why a filling might fall out repeatedly.
Why Does a Dental Filling Keep Falling Out?
A composite dental filling may fall out due to a dentist’s technique while placing it. Composite fillings require more skill and care than amalgam (silver fillings). A cosmetic dentist must complete the following steps to ensure your filling lasts:
- Numb the tooth
- Clean the tooth
- Keep the tooth dry and free of saliva
- Roughen the tooth to help the composite stick to it
- Coat the area with a bonding material
- Fill the tooth with a dental composite
- Harden the composite
- Layer and harden composite as needed
- Polish the composite filling
Do You Need a Crown Instead of a Dental Filling?
You may need a crown instead of a dental filling if a cavity is so large that the dentist must remove so much tooth structure that a porcelain veneer will not adhere to the tooth. A cosmetic dentist may be able to build up the tooth to restore it.
We suggest getting a second opinion from a cosmetic dentist to examine your porcelain veneer tooth, filling, and x-rays.
Dr. James Gavrilos, a Barrington, Illinois, accredited cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.