What to do if a filling falls out of a tooth
There are times when a filling simply falls out of a tooth. This often happens at the most unfortunate moment. Of course, this is a reason to see a dentist immediately. But it is important to understand what to do before you go to the clinic.
This situation should not be ignored, especially if the tooth begins to hurt. Timely measures will help to reduce pain and prevent possible complications. But first of all, it is necessary to understand why the filling can fall out in the first place.
What causes a filling to fall out
- Expiration of service life. The estimated service life of a dental filling is about five to ten years, at the end of which it may need to be replaced.
- Poor hygiene. Irregular and improper oral care can cause a filling to fall out.
- Excessive strain. Even the best quality filling may not hold up if you chew on nuts or grind your teeth at night.
Why it is important to see a dentist immediately
A loose filling opens up space for pathogenic bacteria, which can cause dangerous inflammation. In addition, a missing filling makes the tooth quite brittle. It can collapse under pressure, and as a result, it will take much longer to repair and incur additional financial costs.
First aid in case of a loose filling
- Do not stress the tooth. Try not to put pressure on the tooth: this may cause additional chipping.
- Try to chew with the other side of your jaw when eating. Avoid hard foods if possible.
- Rinse and gargle. The mouth should be rinsed with a salt water if any inflammation of the gum was caused by this lost filling.
- Pay attention to hygiene. Brush your teeth as gently and carefully as possible, but do not avoid the area.
- In case of pain, try to take an OTC pain killer and let us know that your appointment is needed for an emergency. We will try to accommodate you as soon as possible.
The measures taken will help to soothe the pain and wait for the doctor’s appointment without complications. But you should not get addicted to painkillers. Their purpose is to temporarily relieve unpleasant sensations. Later they can weaken the effect of anesthetics, which will be needed during treatment.
And one more important rule: under no circumstances fill the cavity with absorbent cotton, gauze swabs and other improvised materials. Such materials are a breeding ground for pathogens.
Although there is a popular belief that expectant mothers should not undergo dental treatment. Please be aware it is not true. If a filling has fallen out, they should also immediately ask for professional dental help.
What will the doctor do after the filling falls out?
The dentist who discovers the missing filling evaluates the condition of the cavity and finds out the cause of the loss, and then performs certain treatment procedures. For example:
- If a filling from a cavity that is too large has fallen out, either an inlay (enlarged filling fabricated of porcelain) will be placed in its place, or the entire tooth will be covered with a crown to optimize the distribution of the chewing load and preserve the remaining dental tissue.
- If the dentist diagnoses a recurrence of decay, pulpitis, periodontitis or other disease, the tooth may need to undergo a new treatment.
- In any scenario the first thing to expect when you come to a dentist with your filling lost – is to have an x-ray to be taken to assess the situation.
Failure of a filling in a child
The structure of baby teeth is different from that of permanent teeth, but that is no reason to ignore problems with baby teeth. Young parents know that treating children’s teeth is a must, which is why children often walk around with fillings on their teeth. If these fillings fall out, they too should be replaced, as any decay of the baby teeth can lead to problems of the permanent dentition.
Until a dentist replaces the filling on a child’s tooth, the child should follow the same rules as adults: clean their mouth with a disinfectant solution every time after eating, brush and toothpaste regularly, and avoid chewing on the defective tooth. We utilize Solea Laser to help our young patients to avoid pain and the unpleasantness of getting numb.
Failure of a filling during pregnancy
If a filling falls out during pregnancy, you should definitely go to the dentist, and do not put off this visit. In modern dentistry there are many gentle drugs and safe methods of treatment for dental problems, so the dentist will be able to pick an effective remedy for the defect, which will not harm the baby or the future mother. The main thing is to warn the dentist about pregnancy before starting treatment. Please try to have a conversation with your OB GYN doctor before your dental appointment, and obtain their guidance about your specific situation.
What should I do if a temporary filling has fallen out?
A temporary filling is placed in the intermediate stages of treatment and has a limited lifespan. The main purpose is to cover the medication used to treat pulpitis or just temporarily restore the tooth waiting for another appointment or making sure you are comfortable with a new restoration. Be sure to follow your doctor’s advice about eating and oral hygiene. Temporary fillings are very brittle and break easily. After the temporary filling has fallen out, the cavity of the tooth may be left unprotected and the open tooth cavity can be infected or cause a new inflammatory process. It is important to contact your dentist as soon as you suspect your temporary filling to be lost.
What should I do if my tooth hurts after a filling falls out?
If you experience pain after a filling has fallen out, you should not put off going to the dentist. A qualified professional will determine the cause of the missing filling, choose the appropriate material and treatment technique. Please call your dentist for an emergency appointment.
What should I do to prevent the filling from falling out again?
- Try to brush your teeth regularly and thoroughly;
- Visit your dentist twice a year for checkups;
- Limit consumption of carbonated water, foods with high acid content, candy, etc., as they contribute to the destruction of enamel and worsen the adhesion of the filling material;
- Avoid sudden temperature changes during meals;
- Avoid nuts, sunflower seeds, bones, ice cubes, and other foods that damage enamel and cause microcracks.