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Why Do Fillings “Fall Out”?

As a patient it may sometimes seem that a restoration “just fell out” of your tooth without an obvious cause. Sometimes patients think that a filling was loosened by chewing particular foods. In reality, restorations that become loose or actually fall out usually do so because of recurring decay or fracture.

Restorations Are Made to Last
Preparing your tooth to receive a restoration is an exacting process with many important steps. The objective is to remove all decay and/or damaged tooth structure, to clean and sterilize the area, and to create a structure that will house the restoration material and assure that it remains intact.

When these steps are executed properly, you have the successful creation of a restoration that will provide years of service. While there are exceptions to every rule, it would be unusual for a new restoration to “fall out.” Instead, when this happens it is generally an older restoration done in a different tooth.

As mentioned earlier, a restoration can fail when there has been additional decay beneath the restoration or its margins or when the restoration and/or tooth cannot withstand the intense pressures exerted by the jaws during chewing.

Regular Exams Offer an Ounce of Prevention
It is important to realize that any loosened filling no longer protects the surrounding tooth from decay and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.  Finding a loosened filling during your exam will provide an opportunity to make repairs before the tooth incurs further damage.

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