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D*mn Filling Fell Out for the Third Time!!

gnatty8

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So I had a tooth filled about 4 months ago. Upper tooth, somewhere between canine and molar. About 3 weeks later, a huge piece of the damn thing comes out. I'd never had this happen before, but figured maybe its no big deal. I go back, he fills it for me again, but I notice he didn't drill the old remnants out, just put more material in the hole. Well, 2 weeks later, falls out again! I go back, pretty pissed, cause this is now the third time to have my mouth frozen and sit in the chair and waste 1 1/2 out of my day. This time he does seem to drill some more, and he tells me if this doesn't work, he will need to do a root canal.

Of course, it came out again yesterday, for the third time, all in about 4 months.

To me the answer is obvious, I need a new dentist. However, has anybody ever experienced anything like this before? It is in a weird spot, on the side of the tooth as opposed to the top. I just can't believe how much time I have wasted on this one tooth, and now, he will probably also charge me for the root canal also. This was a pretty minor cavity from what I understand.
 

Thomas

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You need a new dentist. I've had dozens of fillings and a few crowns, and none have come out like that. Even on the side of the tooth - I have one that's on the face of one of my front teeth (i.e., visible when I smile) that's been there for around a decade, with no trouble.

Besides, I think that root canal story is a bunch of crap. If you're not feeling pain and the decay isn't too deep, you'd go with a crown, not a root canal.

I wouldn't even give your guy a chance to remedy this because - I don't think you want him to do your root canal, even if you need one.
 

Edward Appleby

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I have some experience with this. Some years ago when I had braces, there was a small cavity that was not detected on a molar, on top of which the metal cap to anchor the braces was placed. A couple years after the braces came off, the tooth fractured and about half of it fell off while I was brushing my teeth (this was pretty goddamn horrifying). Dentist said she'd try a filling and onlay without a root canal and we'd see if this fixed the problem. About six months later I started having pain in the tooth.

Went to the dentist, got a root canal and a crown which lasted for a couple years, then the onlay fell off. Got another deeper root canal, and a new onlay, which lasted for about a year and then I began to have pain in the tooth because the infection hadn't been removed by the root canals.

At this point I had a new dentist, who when I went to him basically said that after the second time I went back it should have been pretty clear that a root canal wasn't going to work. He removed the tooth, I declined to have an implant put in (worried about the proximity of my sinuses to my root area.)

The gums where the tooth was have healed perfectly, I have no more pain, and it I chew normally without anything there now. Moreover, I don't have the constant paranoia that I'm going to bite on something the wrong way and a goddamn piece of my mouth will fall out.

If a significant portion of your tooth has fallen out, I would think a root canal would be the absolute minimum needed to fix it, although I'm sure your dentist would be perfectly happy for you to have to come back every six months to pay him to glue an onlay back in.

Obviously I'm not a dentist, but from my experience I really don't see how a large piece of your tooth could fall out without there being a pretty goddamn deep cavity. The way I see it you are in the first stages of my molar odyssey ("If this doesn't work we'll have to do a root canal...") If it's far enough back I'd pull that bitch and save yourself the trouble. If it would leave a visible hole or fuck with your eating, get an implant. At the very least if your dentist says anything about having to do a particularly deep root canal, go see an endodontic specialist instead.

My (newer, good) dentist said that it's very difficult to get a complete seal with an onlay, and as a result if the dentin or worse the pulp is significantly exposed, decay tends to get worse rather than better. It's also very easy for the decay to spread to other teeth.
 

Edward Appleby

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Originally Posted by Thomas
Besides, I think that root canal story is a bunch of crap. If you're not feeling pain and the decay isn't too deep, you'd go with a crown, not a root canal.

Nah man, as I said, I lost more than half of a tooth to massive decay without any pain preceding it. Dental pain is an odd thing, it can be horrible for small cavities and non-existent for huge ones.
 

Thomas

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Originally Posted by Edward Appleby
Nah man, as I said, I lost more than half of a tooth to massive decay without any pain preceding it. Dental pain is an odd thing, it can be horrible for small cavities and non-existent for huge ones.

I suppose there's some truth to this. I'm not a dentist - and don't even play one on TV - so my opinion is uninformed, but my dentist only mentions a root canal if there's pain or recurring infection. Even then he doesn't force the issue because some people deal with pain better than others. However, if he drills and hits blood, then root canal is mandatory - pain or no pain - but by the x-ray he knows roughly how bad it is before drilling.

I was assuming gnatty was doing the regular check-ups every 6 months so decay could be spotted early. Actually...this could still be true if he got decay under a filling/crown, but that would lead to a whole different series of circumstances. Within 6 months I wouldn't have expected major decay unless you're knocking back the cokes hand over fist. Just MHO, though.
 

Edward Appleby

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Originally Posted by Thomas

I was assuming gnatty was doing the regular check-ups every 6 months so decay could be spotted early. Actually...this could still be true if he got decay under a filling/crown, but that would lead to a whole different series of circumstances. Within 6 months I wouldn't have expected major decay unless you're knocking back the cokes hand over fist. Just MHO, though.


Yeah, if you're going to the dentist every .5-1 years, and they don't spot decay before it gets bad enough to cause a significant piece of a tooth to fall out, that's a shitty dentist.
 

gnatty8

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Originally Posted by Thomas
I suppose there's some truth to this. I'm not a dentist - and don't even play one on TV - so my opinion is uninformed, but my dentist only mentions a root canal if there's pain or recurring infection. Even then he doesn't force the issue because some people deal with pain better than others. However, if he drills and hits blood, then root canal is mandatory - pain or no pain - but by the x-ray he knows roughly how bad it is before drilling.

I was assuming gnatty was doing the regular check-ups every 6 months so decay could be spotted early. Actually...this could still be true if he got decay under a filling/crown, but that would lead to a whole different series of circumstances. Within 6 months I wouldn't have expected major decay unless you're knocking back the cokes hand over fist. Just MHO, though.


Never had pain with the cavity before he filled it, and it was apparently a very small cavity (in fact, I couldn't even see it on the x-ray when he showed me).

Yes, I go to the dentist every 6 months for cleaning and checkup, so this was a very small cavity, and there was no filling/crown there to begin with.

Again, this was a pretty small cavity, it should have been textbook, and for whatever reason, he just has not been able to fix the problem. I have an appointment with another dentist tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes.

Think its time for a "Things That are Pissing You Off" posting; about having to spend a total of over 7 hours getting a pinhole sized cavity filled!!!!
 

gnatty8

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Originally Posted by Edward Appleby
I have some experience with this. Some years ago when I had braces, there was a small cavity that was not detected on a molar, on top of which the metal cap to anchor the braces was placed. A couple years after the braces came off, the tooth fractured and about half of it fell off while I was brushing my teeth (this was pretty goddamn horrifying). Dentist said she'd try a filling and onlay without a root canal and we'd see if this fixed the problem. About six months later I started having pain in the tooth.

Went to the dentist, got a root canal and a crown which lasted for a couple years, then the onlay fell off. Got another deeper root canal, and a new onlay, which lasted for about a year and then I began to have pain in the tooth because the infection hadn't been removed by the root canals.

At this point I had a new dentist, who when I went to him basically said that after the second time I went back it should have been pretty clear that a root canal wasn't going to work. He removed the tooth, I declined to have an implant put in (worried about the proximity of my sinuses to my root area.)

The gums where the tooth was have healed perfectly, I have no more pain, and it I chew normally without anything there now. Moreover, I don't have the constant paranoia that I'm going to bite on something the wrong way and a goddamn piece of my mouth will fall out.

If a significant portion of your tooth has fallen out, I would think a root canal would be the absolute minimum needed to fix it, although I'm sure your dentist would be perfectly happy for you to have to come back every six months to pay him to glue an onlay back in.

Obviously I'm not a dentist, but from my experience I really don't see how a large piece of your tooth could fall out without there being a pretty goddamn deep cavity. The way I see it you are in the first stages of my molar odyssey ("If this doesn't work we'll have to do a root canal...") If it's far enough back I'd pull that bitch and save yourself the trouble. If it would leave a visible hole or fuck with your eating, get an implant. At the very least if your dentist says anything about having to do a particularly deep root canal, go see an endodontic specialist instead.

My (newer, good) dentist said that it's very difficult to get a complete seal with an onlay, and as a result if the dentin or worse the pulp is significantly exposed, decay tends to get worse rather than better. It's also very easy for the decay to spread to other teeth.



You're telling me!!!

I have one crown, and remember the temporary one falling out (there's a theme here), which was also slightly uncomfortable..
 

Thomas

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good luck with the new dentist, man.
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by Edward Appleby
Yeah, if you're going to the dentist every .5-1 years, and they don't spot decay before it gets bad enough to cause a significant piece of a tooth to fall out, that's a shitty dentist.
I agree. Dentist should spot the onslaught of a significant decay.
 

DDSJohnny

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after the filling fell out the first time, he should have drilled out the remaining material (i'm guessing that it's silver amalgam) and re-do the filling. even if it was a resin filling, i would have drilled out the whole thing and re-bond the filling to the tooth.

i don't understand why you would need a root canal on the tooth if there aren't any symptoms you are experiencing (i'm assuming that x-rays show no root apex problems), especially it's a small cavity. it is possible you might need one if he cut away too much tooth structure and the filling is in close proximity to the pulp.

as far as root canals go, they should all have crowns placed on them. i believe it provides better full coverage of the root canal and carries a better prognosis than an onlay does.

with regards to losing more than half your tooth due to decay, it should not have happened if you were going to your dentist for regular check ups. while you might not have felt pain (the pulp probably died and necrosed pretty quickly), it should have been picked up and treated before it progressed the way it did.

i don't want to say that these are bad dentists that you all went to, but it is not good practice. do good dentists sometimes miss decay? you betcha. we're only human. that being said, i am very confident that this is only a very small percentage of all dental treatment.
 

KBW

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DAMN this thread. Just the thought of a tooth breaking creeps me out. I've never had a cavity though (maybe I have and my dentist is just horrible as well).
 

Teger

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I fucking hate dentists. They and their profession and their rates are fucking bullshit. Hmm, my insurance that costs thousands of dollars a year doesn't cover dental??? Nice, that root cannal is a good ass fucking to the tune of $4,000.
 

Thomas

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Actually I found a dentist who I would drive cross-town to see. He is damn good. When I needed my root canal he recommended a damn good endodontist who got me squared away in 45 minutes with zero pain.

Actually - dentist and vet are the two I would drive cross-town to see.
 

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