A Cavity Exposed! What to Do When You Lose a Dental Filling

October 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — dentaldistinct @ 11:36 pm
Man has tooth pain

While dental fillings are durable restorations, they do not last forever. Under certain circumstances, a dental filling can fall out of a tooth, and it is important to treat a lost filling in a timely manner to preserve your dental health. Losing a dental filling can be scary, but knowing what to do ahead of time can allow you to bring the crisis to the best possible conclusion. Here’s a brief guide to caring for a lost dental filling while waiting for your dentist’s appointment.

What Can Cause a Dental Filling to Fall Out?

If left untreated, a lost filling can result in further decay or damage to the tooth. A few common reasons for a dental filling to come loose include:

  • Chewing or biting too hard
  • New decay or cavities around the filling
  • Teeth grinding
  • Accidents/oral trauma
  • A chemical reaction loosening the bond between the filling and the enamel

What Should I Do When My Filling Comes Loose?

The first thing to do after you lose a filling is to call your dentist. Explain the situation, any related symptoms, and any pain you are experiencing. Schedule an appointment for as soon as possible. The office may have an opening in the schedule that day, but you may have to wait for a few days for the next available slot. During the appointment, your dentist will examine the affected tooth for decay and other damage. They will then recommend a treatment plan that may involve replacing the filling or placing a dental crown. If the wound is especially large, a crown is typically the proper course of action.

What Should I Do Until My Appointment?

When waiting for your dental appointment, it’s important to avoid stressing out about the lost filling. Avoid chewing on the afflicted side of the mouth, as this will prevent food debris and bacteria from entering the wound. After eating, give your mouth a rinse with warm salt water to help clean away food particles. Gently brush the affected tooth if doing so doesn’t cause you any pain.

Over-the-counter pain medicines can be a great way to manage any discomfort you may experience. Be sure to follow the instructions printed on the label. Many pharmacies sell temporary filling materials to treat lost fillings. While these are not permanent solutions, they can prevent food and bacteria from entering the wound and may help ease any pain.

Losing a filling may be a frightening experience, but it isn’t the worst thing that can happen to your teeth. Scheduling an appointment with your dentist and caring for your tooth until then will put you on the path to smiling comfortably soon enough.

About the Practice

Dental Distinction provides excellent comprehensive dental care to the community of Plano, TX. Led by Drs. Hira Khan and Mohammed Mansour, the staff delivers personalized treatments with minimal wait times. Areas of expertise include general, pediatric, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. If you have recently lost a filling, contact the office online or dial (972) 423-3322.

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