Dental fillings are one of the most common types of restorations used to repair minor fractures or decay in the teeth. Today, dentists use a variety of materials to fill damaged teeth, such as composite, silver amalgam, gold, ceramic, and glass ionomers. With proper care, fillings can last more than 10 years before they need to be replaced. If a filling surpasses its expected lifespan or bacteria accumulates around the edge of the filling material, there is a risk that the filling could fall out.
If you experience this problem, here’s what care should come next
Did Your Dental Filling Fall Out?
First things first – call your dentist. It is normal to experience some pain or discomfort when a dental filling falls out as the sensitive interior of the tooth may be exposed. Your dentist will try to get you into the office as soon as possible, possibly even the same day. If you’re not able to see your dentist right away, ask for suggestions about how to keep your exposed tooth protected until your appointment.
While waiting for your dentist appointment, gargle with salt water at home. Combine a cup of warm water with ½ teaspoon of salt and gargle for several seconds. This mixture can help kill bacteria in the mouth that could damage your exposed tooth. Continue to practice proper dental hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing. Use caution when brushing the tooth where the filling fell out and use gentle brushing strokes.
Undue pressure on the exposed tooth could cause damage or discomfort. Try not to chew on the side where the tooth is exposed. Until you see your dentist, consider placing a small amount of dental wax or temporary store-bought filling material into the tooth. Note that this is only a temporary solution and not a substitution for proper dental care.
If you are experiencing discomfort and cannot see your dentist immediately, an over-the-counter pain reliever may reduce pain and swelling. Clove oil is available online or at most pharmacies and can be applied to the exposed tooth to minimize pain. Additionally, holding an ice pack or cold compress to the cheek near the tooth can help with pain and swelling as well.
What to Expect at the Dentist When a Filling Comes Out
Once you arrive at your dental appointment, your dentist will examine the tooth and recommend treatment. If your dentist thinks that the tooth can be repaired, she may recommend another filling. If the tooth has suffered more extensive damage or the exposure has reached the tooth’s nerve, a root canal and crown or cap may be needed. These will protect the tooth from further damage. Teeth that have suffered severe damage may need to be extracted and possibly replaced with a dental implant or bridge.
Contact Vero Elite Dentistry and Make an Appointment Today
If your dental filling has become loose or has fallen out, Vero Elite Dentistry can help. Contact our private practice in Vero Beach, FL today. Speak with a member of our friendly team and schedule your appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!