When bacteria establish themselves inside your tooth a cavity is formed. Once the bacteria are removed there is a need to seal the cavity and restore the tooth to it’s former shape and size. That is achieved by placing a filling or a dental restoration. To make a filling last it takes much attention to detail, correct choice of materials and sound technique. If not the fillings break or come out.
Here are several reasons why fillings may fall out :
- Inadequate shape of the cavity: Once the decay has been removed, there is the need to judge which of the remaining tooth parts are sound enough to resist for the long term. If not they will chip or break and leave new gaps for the bacteria to form a new cavity.
- Attention to detail: The materials that are used to restore the tooth, have set conditions for a good outcome. In order to get a long lasting result we need to have good control on the moisture in the mouth and meticulously follow the manufacturer’s instructions. For example if saliva contaminates the cavity it will stop the adhesion of the filling to the tooth and it will easily fall out. That is one of the reasons why I use a rubber shield when I make fillings to isolate the tooth.
- Achieving the right bite: The way the teeth come together can overload a filling and cause it to break. Only by “checking the bite” and carving the right shape of the tooth, I can assure that the filling is in the right shape.
- Choosing the right material: It takes experience and constant learning to know which material to use from the wide range of materials available. I use the materials made by renown companies which have been thoroughly studied, have a large volume of research backing them up and are regarded as top performers.
What to do when your filling comes out?
The first thing that you should do is remove it from your mouth so that you don’t accidentally swallow it or breathe it in. Usually swallowing a filling is harmless, but if you accidentally breathe it into your lungs, it could cause a severe infection and would need to be remove.
Next, you should call us as soon as possible to make an appointment and have your tooth restored. Left untreated the tooth becomes a good trap for food which can cause harmful bacteria to accumulate and lead to more decay. Until your appointment try to brush gently and carefully inside the hole where the filling was to remove all food debris.