Even though a filling is intended to last a long time, from time to time they can still fail, or even fall out. The larger and older a filling is the more likely it is to fall out.
Sometimes you might even notice a difference in a filling right before it falls out. Common symptoms of a problematic filling include a sharp pain in a tooth when biting down or chewing with it. This is often a result of the old cement succumbing to the corrosive effects of the bacteria in your mouth. It might also be accompanied by a slight graying in the nearby enamel. You might also notice a lingual filling, near your tongue, has started to develop an edge or a change in texture.
You need call your dentist as soon as possible if one of your fillings falls out. Leaving the cavity exposed can lead to serious problems. In some cases, they can repair the area by simply removing a little more enamel and cement a new larger filling in its place.
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 have a suspect filling or one that has fallen out, please call us at 425-385-8130 to schedule an appointment.