A filling effectively repairs a small areas of tooth decay. The size of the decayed enamel as well as the tooth’s location will determine the size and material the filling is made from. While a filling is designed to last a long time, it is not uncommon for an old filling to fail, or even fall out.
You might detect a difference in the tooth or the filling shortly before it falls out. A small, sharp pain in the tooth filling when chewing or biting down on it, can mean the old cement is breaking down allowing the filling to move a little in the cavity. This could also be accompanied by a slight gray color in the nearby enamel. This is a sign that invasive bacteria have gained access to new areas of previously healthy enamel. A filling that is near your tongue, might also develop an edge or a change in texture.
If a filling falls out, you should call your dentist as soon as possible. Leaving the cavity exposed invites larger problems. In some cases, they can simply remove a little more enamel and cement a new larger filling in its place. Unfortunately, if a large filling falls out there might not be enough enamel left to properly cement a new filling in place. If this is the case your dentist will usually recommend that the tooth be fitted for a crown.
If you suspect filling has fallen out, please call us at 916.784.1700 to schedule an appointment.