How Long Should an Emergency Dental Repair Hold Up?

businessman after seeing emergency dentist

Is there a difference in how long emergency dental work and regular dental work should last? I’m asking because my dentist in Elgin has always done great work. I’ve been seeing him for years and have never had an issue even when I’ve gone in because of a toothache or whatever. But, right now I’m in another state on business and will be stuck here for another couple months it looks like. Been here for two already. Shortly after I got here I bit down on something and broke a chunk off one of my molars. I knew it couldn’t wait until I got back home, so I looked up someone here who could see me now. Everything seemed ok and he said it would be fine with just a filling, which he did right then and there.

Well, the dang thing already popped off. I was eating my dinner tonight and I felt something hard. I thought maybe it was a bone from the meat but after I finished eating I realized that molar was missing the same chunk again. I realize this was an emergency repair job but shouldn’t it last more than a month or so? He didn’t say anything about it being temporary and, looking at the bill, it appears to be normal billing with regular prices. I’m not sure if I should go back in and get another patch job at my cost, ask him to fix it at his cost, or wait until I get home and have my regular dentist fix me up. What’s best?

Much appreciation,


Dear Joel,

It’s best to connect with the dentist who performed the work to find out exactly what was done, but some general info is below.

Your Emergency Dental Work Should Be Permanent

It would be abnormal for the work performed to be anything other than a permanent filling. Occasionally, temporary fillings and repairs are done. That might be the case if the doctor said you needed a crown or if you had a root canal performed. However, if his diagnosis was that a filling was the appropriate and permanent solution for you, it should have been a standard permanent filling.

You Can Ask Him to Repair it at No Cost

You’ll want to touch base with him regardless, but it’s appropriate to ask him to fix this at no cost to you. Assuming it’s a permanent filling, he should feel a sense of obligation to make this right. If it genuinely was some sort of a temporary solution, most will fix it again at no cost as well, but you’ll probably be reminded that you need to finish the work. At some point, you’ll have to get a permanent solution in place. They can’t keep doing temporary repairs free forever.

Get it Checked Out Again When You Get Home

It sounds like you lost a large portion of your tooth and that’s worrisome. The usual repair for something like that is a crown. You don’t want to wait until you get back home to have it fixed because you could lose even more of it or cause other damage. However, if you have a dentist in Elgin that you know and trust, see him as soon as you get back to confirm it was repaired right or get a second opinion now.

This blog is sponsored by Dr. Steve Sirin, an Elgin emergency dentist.

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