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Author Topic: lost filling
RivalOfTheRose
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This afternoon (1/9), my wife lost a small piece of dental filling from her back top left molar while chewing gum. It seems like only a small chip from the larger filling that is still there. Is there anything we can do or watch out for? We made a dentist appt. for Tuesday night, but she is a bit of a nervous nelly. Anything to be concerned about?

Thanks!

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scholarette
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I lost a filling once and didn't have insurance, but knew I would in 3 months. I lived. And I still have the tooth. Hurt, but when you are poor, what are you going to do?
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dabbler
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I lost a filling. I didn't know how long it had been. could have been a day or a week. Made an appoint for a couple days later and he filled it up nice-nice. It didn't bother me while it was gone except that the tooth had a bit of an edge where there ought not to be an edge.
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DDDaysh
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I broke off a chunk of molar a few months ago when a filling gave way. I made a dentist appointment for a few days later, and then had to go back the next week because he wanted to fill it with some sort of special goo.

It was uncomfortable, but other than that, nothing back happened.

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Sean Monahan
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I went in for a routine cleaning once, and my dentist told me that I had a filling missing. I didn't even know. However, that filling didn't go all the way in to the nerve.
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dabbler
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i think no fillings go to the nerve unless you have a root canal. then there's no nerve to bother.
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Ikemook
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Yes, no fillings ever go to the nerve unless you have a root canal*. Fillings that are big enough to approach the nerve may cause irritation, so they'll sometimes do a root canal then.

Your wife should avoid eating on that side of her mouth, and drinking any sugary drinks, until she gets it filled again. Whether or not it causes any discomfort depends on how much of the filling has broken off, and how sensitive your wife is to pain. Ideally, you should get an appointment with the dentist as soon as possible to get it fixed; if any part of the filling that broke away was near a natural tooth surface, then you open that surface to the possibility of decay**. [Edited to add:] And no, from what you describe, you're wife shouldn't be worried. Unless it turns out that it was part of the tooth (and not the filling) that chipped off, they'll just replace the filling. If it was part of the tooth (as it was in my case), they'll have to put on a crown to keep the tooth from falling apart. That can happen sometimes, with very large fillings.

*Which I would not recommend having. Not for the pain, mind you; mine was and is completely painless (the procedure was actually kind of cool--they literally melted and cauterized my nerve endings and canal, and scooped out the remains!). I would not recommend it because it was very expensive. [Edited to add:] And by not recommend it, I mean I would not recommend putting yourself in the situation where you need one; I do not mean just ignoring it when you need the procedure done, as that can lead to way, waaay worse situations.

**For the record, I am not a dentist, or have had any dental training. I have just had far too many cavities, and have learned a few things about dental work in the process ^_~

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Kwea
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I have fillings that were all the way down to the nerve, and they sucked. I was told, as a kid, that if those didn't work they would have to do a root canal...and I was told that they would probably only last 7-8 years, maximum.

It's been 20 years, and they are just going bad now. 2 of them there was hardly any tooth left, just very think shells of tooth with the filling.

I have a new dental plan now, and will probably have 3 of them pulled and a partial bridge done.

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Teshi
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It's no different from having a cavity and getting it filled. If you're not in pain, you have nothing to worry about-- if you weren't observant you wouldn't even know.

I had a loose filling done this December. I hadn't been to the dentist in around a year. I also had a chip in a tooth. Neither of these things were bothering me and neither were a problem. He simply filled them as if I needed a new filling. They did no permenant damage.

Teeth need a longer time than that to decay.

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