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What to Do If You Lose a Dental Filling

May 23, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — beautifulyoudental @ 9:54 pm

Close up of tooth-colored filling in dental mirrorDental fillings have been used for generations to treat tooth decay because they are effective and offer long-lasting results. Unfortunately, your dental filling won’t last forever. If your filling has fallen out, don’t panic! You need to get to an emergency dentist right away. Here’s what you should do if you lose a dental filling.

Causes of Dental Filling Failure

The average lifespan of a dental filling is about 5 to 15 years. Various factors can affect the life expectancy of a filling. The most common causes of filling failure include:

  • New Decay
  • Chewing Too Hard
  • Biting into Hard or Crunchy FOods
  • Grinding or Cleaning Your Teeth
  • Trauma to the Tooth
  • Chemical Reactions that Loosens the Filling

A Lost Filling is a Dental Emergency

Even if you’re not experiencing any pain, a lost filling is a dental emergency. You don’t want to delay treatment because your tooth will be vulnerable to bacteria, infections, and breaks if you wait to have it replaced. 

Never use over-the-counter cements or adhesives to try to replace your filling. You can trap bad bacteria underneath the material, which can cause a minor issue to turn into a big problem, like the loss of your tooth.

Handling a Lost Dental Filling

If you’ve lost a filling, it’s normal to have some anxiety about the situation. Take a deep breath and follow these tips:

  • Call Your Emergency Dentist: Contact your dentist to explain the situation. They’ll schedule you for an appointment to replace the filling.
  • Keep Your Mouth Clean: It’s important to keep your mouth clean until your tooth has been repaired. Brush after every meal and floss at least once a day. Rinsing your mouth with salt water will kill harmful bacteria while also reducing any pain or inflammation.
  • Eat Carefully: Avoid any hot or cold foods and drinks because they can cause sensitivity. Choose soft foods and chew on the opposite side of your mouth.
  • Manage Discomfort: Take an over-the-counter pain reliever if you have any discomfort. You can also apply an oral numbing medication. Use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Use a Temporary Filler: You can find temporary filling material at many pharmacies, which is available over-the-counter. They are made with zinc oxide and can help fill the gap in your tooth until you’re able to see your dentist. Remember that it is only a temporary solution. 

Your emergency dentist will examine your mouth to determine if you require any additional treatments prior to replacing your filling, like treating any new decay. They’ll replace the filling using a tooth-colored material that will blend in with your enamel, so only a trained dental professional will know it is there.

About Dr. Christopher Nowacki

Dr. Nowacki has over 20 years of experience in dentistry. He strives to provide each patient with personalized, compassionate, and high-quality dental care. He has the training and qualifications to treat the most complex oral health issues, including dental emergencies. Dr. Nowacki is a proud member of several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. Request an appointment through his website or call his office at (321) 339-1203.

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