Dental fillings popping out all over place
May 3, 2013 5:52 AM   Subscribe

My dentist recently gave me fillings to replace the lost enamel of nine teeth, and four of these fillings keep falling out. Repeatedly. One of the molar fillings has fallen out three times. One of my canine fillings has fallen out twice. Is this common? Could he be using poor quality materials? Is it indicative of something else being wrong? Should I find a new dentist?

I am a formerly aggressive/incorrect brusher and I've had a mouthguard for years to keep me from grinding my teeth in my sleep. I've been seeing this dentist for 3 years, and it's only been within the past 8 months that he recommended I get the fillings, and the first ones were put in in late October. I could see that I needed them, and it makes sense to protect my teeth.

However, it's crazy that these fillings have little longevity. He's been repairing them for free, but every time they get repaired, he has to go deeper and push the gum down lower -- will that give me worse problems later?

I'm a 35 yr old woman. I live in the Boston, MA, area. My dental insurance is great. Since being prescribed the fillings, I've been brushing my teeth very gently, moving up and down, holding the brush with only two fingers, and relying mainly on flossing and rinsing to keep my teeth clean. I don't have gum disease.

Any thoughts on why this is happening and what to do?
posted by Calamity Jen to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you have a hard bite? I had this issue with an inner filling until I switched to a dentist who put in a more elastic one in the problem tooth.
posted by brujita at 5:59 AM on May 3, 2013

I would go to a different dentist, this isn't normal!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:11 AM on May 3, 2013

See another dentist. Maybe your current dentist sucks.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:23 AM on May 3, 2013

I would find a new dentist.
In 1997 , I went through the windshield of a car.
I had to have my lower teeth "healed" by a dentist, and at the time, he told me
"Son, this patch job is only going to last you 15 years (which is right now), last summer I had ONE of them replaced because it was time. The other's are fine as they were on day one.
Granted in the next few years that may change.

If my dentist can make my dental work last some 15 years, in 1997 technology, than today a dentist "should" be able to do better. IMHO.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 9:08 AM on May 3, 2013

I had a new dentist who put two new fillings in, both of which fell out. I switched dentists, she replaced the fillings, and they stayed in. The new, new dentist said I shouldn't necessarily blame the old, new dentist, because apparently this sometimes happens, but I haven't returned to the old, new dentist.
posted by latkes at 10:18 AM on May 3, 2013

I have weak teeth, and have had many, many fillings from half a dozen different dentists, and have never had a filling fall out. See a new dentist.
posted by Kwine at 10:48 AM on May 3, 2013

See a new dentist, and are they silver or white fillings?

My dentist told me that the white fillings chemically bond to your teeth so they should rarely fall out (I had a tooth with a filling break and I was panicked about it falling out like the silver ones did when I was a kid. So that's when the dentist explained that to me.)
posted by Crystalinne at 11:46 AM on May 3, 2013

Thanks, everyone! @Crystalinne, these are white fillings -- composite resin.
posted by Calamity Jen at 12:29 PM on May 3, 2013

Do you have fluorosis? This sounds similar to my experience with porcelain veneers...for years I was at the dentist monthly because the things kept falling off. I've never heard of that happening with anyone else so I'm not sure if it was my dentist or my teeth, but I had problems with the tooth sealant they use in the molars as well. You could get a second opinion. I know how frustrating this is!
posted by fromageball at 12:56 PM on May 3, 2013

In what I hope is mere coincidence and not some composite resin plot, I just had a filling pop out the other day too. The dentist explained that this will sometimes happen with resin fillings; for the big metal amalgam fillings, more tooth is cleared away, aiming for an interior cavern that is bigger than the opening, which helps the filling stay inside; for the resin fillings, far less tooth is removed. He tried out a different brand (Equia) as a replacement, which is supposed to be more moisture tolerant.

Meanwhile, the hygienist mentioned that she has seen this happen mostly with fillings on the buccal surfaces. She unhelpfully suggested it was due to the constant rubbing of cheek against tooth...which I certainly hope isn't true, because I plan on keeping both cheek and tooth.

So, yeah, it's certainly not unheard of for these resin fillings. But if your dentist can't offer a better explanation and solution, I'd definitely go for a second opinion somewhere.
posted by mittens at 1:15 PM on May 3, 2013

Are you having to pay for new fillings every time one falls out? Even for the office visit?

Umm, yeah - I think I'd try a new dentist.
posted by aryma at 5:40 PM on May 3, 2013

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