Over the years, I’ve had problems with notching at my gumline, and my dentist covered them with bonding to prevent any more cavities. The issue affected five teeth. That was 15 years ago.
Last summer, my new dentist replaced the bonding because it was old and discolored. Since that time, the fillings on three of the five teeth popped out twice. I have slight anxiety over dental appointments, but this episode is making me nervous. I asked my dentist to find a permanent solution because the fillings popping out is increasing stress.
I have an autistic child and a stressful job, so I do not need repeated dental visits. My dentist seemed unphased by my concern and said he could use sedation whenever I needed new fillings. He doesn’t get it. Why are the fillings popping out? Also, I’ve never had sedation. Is it safe enough for me to keep getting it whenever I need new fillings? – Thank you. Katia from GA
Thank you for your questions.
What Causes Notches on Teeth at the Gumline?
Clenching and grinding put pressure on your teeth and cause them to flex. Research shows that clenching or grinding your teeth causes notches on then near your gumline. The notches are called abfraction lesions.
How Can You Prevent Fillings from Popping Out?
Your dentist can prevent fillings near the gumline from popping out by using flexible dental composite. Silux Plus and Renamel are two brands of flexible composite. They will blend with your teeth and stay in place for years if your dentist properly bonds them. Newer dental composites are often hybrids that do not stay in long. And your dentist might be using a newer composite.
How Safe Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is safe enough to use on every dental visit. Relaxing at the dental office might require the lowest level of sedation—nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. Otherwise, your dentist might prescribe an anti-anxiety for you to take before your appointment. In the United States, training requirements for dentists to administer sedation vary in each state. According to the American Dental Association, millions of dentists safely treat dental anxiety each year.
But in your case, the issue is using a dental bonding that will stay in your teeth and not pop out. If your dentist lacks the tools or materials to keep your fillings in place, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with an advanced cosmetic dentist.
We hope the information will help you make an informed decision about what to do next.
Steven Brooksher, DDS, of Baton Rouge, sponsors this post.