Dental Emergency: What to do When Your Filling Falls Out

When a dental filling falls out, it can be a shocking and disorienting experience, not to mention painful one. Taking the time to learn how to handle this type of situation should it happen can help relieve your fears and reduce any pain or discomfort you may be feeling as a result of the filling falling out.

Why Dental Fillings Fall Out

There are a few reasons why dental fillings may fall out. Some of the reasons why a dental filling falls out include:

  • Tooth decay that has continued to spread underneath the filling which changes the shape of your tooth
  • Injury to the mouth or tooth which knocks the filling out
  • Eating hard or sticky foods that loosen the filling
  • Failure of the filling to properly bond to the tooth
  • Natural wear and tear that occurs with a filling which causes it to loosen and fall off the tooth

Some of the reasons, such as the spreading of tooth decay and eating hard or sticky foods, can be avoided. Other reasons, such as failure for the bonding material to properly bond and natural wear and tear are things that you have little or no control over.

Scheduling a regular dental checkup every four to six months may help you prevent experiencing the unexpected loss of a dental filling. During routine dental checkups, your dentist will examine your fillings and look for any changes that may have occurred that could cause them to fall out. If any changes are noticed, your dentist will recommend having them replaced.

Dental Fillings Falling Out are Rarely Considered a Dental Emergency

It is natural to instinctively panic and immediately want to rush to the dentist when a dental filling falls out, but that isn’t necessary. Rarely is a missing dental filling considered a dental emergency.

Just because it isn’t considered a dental emergency doesn’t mean you can wait years and years to have it fixed. The longer you wait to replace the filling, the more likely you are to damage the tooth. To avoid further damage to your tooth, dentists recommend that a filling should be replaced quickly, but you don’t need to drop everything and rush to the dentist that same day.

What to Do if a Filling Does Fall Out

If a dental filling does fall out, you will notice that the area is painful and extremely sensitive to everything from cold drinks to hot food and even exposure to air. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help relieve some of the pain you may experience.

Dentists recommend doing the following things when a filling falls out:

  • Call your dentist to schedule an appointment. It doesn’t have to be a same-day appointment, but you will want to get the filling replaced as soon as possible.
  • Practice good oral hygiene. You will want to make sure the area is kept as clean as possible. To keep the area clean you will want to brush and floss as you regularly do. It may be slightly painful, but it will help prevent infections and keep tooth decay from spreading.
  • Consider using a temporary filling material to fill in the hole. Temporarily filling the hole with safe materials, such as sugar-free gum or dental cement, can help reduce any pain you experience from the loss of a filling. This solution is only a temporary fix, but it does help to relieve a lot of your pain.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication. Over-the-counter pain medication can help dramatically relieve your pain. However, before you take any type of medication it is important that you consult with your doctor or dentist to make sure it is safe for you to do so.

If you have any questions about how to handle the unexpected loss of a dental filling, feel free to call Artistic Touch Dentistry in Melbourne Florida. Our office staff will be able to not only provide you with advice on how to handle the situation, but we can schedule you for an appointment to have the dental filling replaced.