You are here:

Dentistry/A dental-assistant yanked out an adjacent filling


Hello. While my dentist's assistant was taking an impression-mold of tooth "A" (for a crown), the dental assistant ended up yanking out the ENTIRE filling in the adjacent tooth "B". The filling in tooth "B" was from a former dentist and had been in my tooth, for years prior to this visit. In fact, I've had NO issues with tooth "B" nor has my current dentist ever pointed out any concern with tooth "B" during even a most-recent full (Xray, Explorer proding, etc) checkup. When the DA realized what she caused to occur, she called for the dentist who informed me "The filling in 'B' is too large to fill and, therefore, requires a crown."

To clarify for the reader, I was in the office preparing tooth "A" for a crown .. then the careless (and NEW to the office) Dental Assistant yanks out a different filling from tooth "B' .. and the dentist expects me to pay for that SECOND crown.

Since tooth "B" was exposed, I did have to pay $150 to have the tooth temporarily filled with her reminder that it MUST be crowned soon.

I am truly frustrated, mostly due to the negligence of her DA, coupled with the dentist's unwillingness to assist me in repairing their mishap.

What options do I have? I haven't taken any action, nor blogged about this online (in Google Local, etc) which would impact her business. I do expect her to pay for tooth "B", at least 50% of the cost if not in entirety.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Dear OP:
I am sorry to hear about what happened.  I understand you and I am here for you and on your side.  Your only comcern should be the health of your mouth and here is what you should do:
1.  Go back and thank the dental assistant who discovered that you had a filling that was not properly in place any longer.  It might have come out because it had decay around it, or a the conding was no longer effective.  I cannot comment on that since I do not know what type of filling it was, or how large it was.  Apparently it was large engough that your tooth needs a crown to restore it to proper shape and function.  Had this filling not come out during the treatement, it could have kept decaying until you had pain and needed a root canal in addition to the crown, or it could have loosened up and you might have swallowed it or worse yet, aspirated it into your longs (that requires surgery to remove).
2.  Go back to the dentist and have a proper crown made (at your cost) to protect the tooth B.

Unfortunately, these situations do happen and it is the patient's responsibility to repair.  After all, it is your mouth and your teeth.  Properly made fillings do not just "come out" or can just be "yanked" out of a tooth.  If a filling, crown, or any other dental restoration "come out" with an impression, or a routine dental cleaning, something must be wrong with the filling or restoration.  As I said, it is actually fortunate that it came out during the treatment.

I completely understand that you are upset and it is easy to blame the dental assistant or the dentist.  These situations do happen and I can tell you that there is no dentist out there that has not experienced this type of misfortunre.  However, it is as if you took your car to the garage for brakes in the front, and when they were testing the new brake job, your brakes in the back broke down.  You can blame the mechanic, but ultimately, it is fortunate that the problem was discovered early and it is NOT the mechanics fault.

I am telling you this since I do believe that your dentist is trying to do the best for you and that you trust her with your oral health care.  If you belive otherwise, then you MUST have a talk with the dentist.  Going on line and "screeming" at the top of your lungs is not a good way to resolve anything.  Only by talking to your dentist can you have a resolution.  Ask your dentist the reason why a filling that was seemingly OK came out with an impression.  As I said, if there were no problems, the filling should have never come out.  You put MUCH MUCH more stress on that filling and tooth by chewing and normal daily function.

I am sorry for your trouble and I hope that you find a common dialogue with your dentist.
Best of luck,
Dr. Zev Kaufman


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Zev Kaufman, D.D.S.


I can answer any question from simple routine dentistry to very complex dentistry with emphasis on reconstructive, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. My expertise is in co-ordination of very complex treatment plans with other dental specialists or as a one-man-team, since I have extensive training in Prosthodontics, Surgical Implantology, and orthodontics.


Over a decade in private practice of Surgical Implantology and Prosthodontics. Founder and owner of Prosthodontics & Implant Surgery of Manhattan, PC. Clinical Assistant Professor at the Post-Graduate Department of Periodontics & Implant Dentistry at New York University College of Dentistry. Lecture weekly since 1999 on advanced Implant Prosthodontics at New York University College of Dentistry Post-Graduate Program in Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. Former clinical assistant professor of Dental Radiology at the NYU College of Dentistry. Former clinical and lecture faculty at Lincoln Hospital, Dental residency program. Former clinical and lecture faculty at St. Barnabas Hospital (Bronx, NY) dental residency program. Lecture nationally on Prosthodontics and Implant Dentistry.

Memeber of the American College of Prosthodontics. Memeber of the Acacdemy of Osseointegration. Member or the Omikron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) Honors Dental Society. Member of the American Dental Education Association.

Graduated with Honors from New York University College of Dentistry. Post-Graduate training and certificate in the specialty of Prosthodontics. Post-Graduate training and ceritificate in Surgical and Prosthetic Implant Dentistry. Honors-program in Comprehensive and Applied Practice Management. Honors-program in Orthodontics.

Awards and Honors
NYU Cervice award to the community. OKU honor society. National Dean's List. National Who's Who.

©2017 All rights reserved.