Lost Filling or Crown

Regular preventive care with Drs. Lepore and Dougherty are recommended to detect potential issues with existing fillings or crowns. If a dental filling comes out or a dental crown comes off, it is because there was a reason for the restoration failure. When leakage occurs, saliva and bacteria can get under the restoration and cause tooth decay. This decay undermines your previously placed filling or crown, eventually causing it to “cave in,” fall out, or break. When a patient feels they “lost a filling,” they have often fractured some of their tooth structure in addition to their old filling.

Causes of restoration to fall out

  • Excessive grinding or clenching 
  • Bacteria leaking into margins of filling/crown (in between the filling and the natural tooth)
  • Propagating cracks or stress lines near old fillings
  • Age of restoration 
  • Ill-fitting crown (gaps between crown and tooth – not sealed)
  • Lack of appropriate amount of cement under the crown
  • Limited tooth structure remaining under a crown

A lost filling must be replaced to keep the teeth free of decay and infection. If a crown comes off, Drs. Lepore and Dougherty can determine if the crown can be re-cemented. Oftentimes, recurrent tooth decay is present, and a new crown will need to be fabricated to restore the tooth. 

When a tooth’s structure has been compromised by decay, your doctor may choose to use a filling or a crown to repair it. There are some differences between the two solutions that you will want to discuss with your doctor as you plan your treatment.

When repairing a small area of decay, a filling is a great option to replace the damaged portion of the tooth while preserving the majority of the tooth’s natural structure. The cavity can be filled with a material called composite.

Composite closely mimics the tooth’s natural shade and sheen. Once completed, the filling should halt the decay and keep the tooth healthy for a number of years. Additional benefits of a filling include the ability to be completed within a single appointment and lessened cost compared to a crown.

However, a drawback of a filling can be a shorter comparative life span for the restoration, and potential long-term issues like recurring decay and cracking can occur.

The risk of cracking is increased as the area needing to be replaced gets larger. When the tooth cracks, a more extensive procedure will be required to return the tooth to optimal shape and function.

Another option is placing a crown over the tooth. This is the best treatment when a tooth has been weakened by extensive decay, injury, or deterioration of a large filling. A crown procedure involves reducing the surface area of the whole tooth to remove the decay and then covering it entirely with a restoration made of metal, ceramic, or a combination of the two. Crowns offer better durability and reliable longevity compared to a large filling and eliminate the potential for teeth developing fractures over time. Also, when ceramic is used, they provide a much more uniform and naturally pleasing appearance. This procedure is more involved than receiving a filling and can require multiple appointments if molds are sent to an outside lab to create the crown. While also more expensive than a filling, the durability and reliable longevity of a crown offsets this expense over time.

In the right circumstances, both a filling and a crown are excellent solutions for repairing decayed or damaged teeth. It is important that you consult with your doctor so that the right choice can be made based upon your unique needs.

How can I extend the life of my restorations?

  • Fluoride Trays
  • PerioProtect
  • Fluoride Varnish with your Dental Cleanings
  • Frequent Examinations and Dental Cleanings
  • Proper Brushing and Flossing

Seek treatment now 

What to do when your filling falls out, or your tooth breaks? Don’t panic! Contact Dr. Lepore or Dr. Dougherty immediately at (727) 608-4690. Together you and our dentists will decide on the best treatment option for your care. After thoroughly examining your teeth, we will take a digital X-ray and photos. You don’t want to wait to seek treatment, as doing so could result in discomfort, more extensive treatment, or tooth loss.

Feeling lost due to a lost filling or crown? Browse https://www.leporedentistry.com/full-mouth-rehabilitation/ to find your way back to a beautiful and healthy smile.

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Our Dental Savings Plans

Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry believes that everyone should have access to high-quality dental care and that financial constraints or insurance status shouldn’t stand in the way for anyone to receive such care. That’s why we have introduced Dental Savings Plans as we don’t want you to compromise on your dental health. We have two plans – Standard and Wellness - offered at an annual membership fee of $429 and $729 respectively.

Membership will entitle you to a host of benefits including free and discounted treatments with a focus on your overall health.


Always a pleasant experience coming here. Got my first fillings done today, it was a quick and painless experience. Thank you!

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We are your "home" in Dunedin for advanced dentistry and functional dental medicine. Within our inviting, highly personalized concierge environment, our team supports your whole "wellness" - not just the beauty and health of your smile!