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Lost Filling

Q: What should I do if I have lost a filling?

A: When you first lose a filling from a tooth, it is a traumatic experience at that moment. The problem is that it usually happens when you are eating and sometimes not in the comfort of your home, which can also be embarrassing. It is not always an immediate dental emergency because it is something that our dentist can take care of as soon as you can make an appointment. There are some things you can do in the meantime with a lost filling.

There are several reasons why a filling falls out. Maybe the tooth was not properly filled to begin with, and this is most common with silver fillings. The area of the tooth may have been contaminated and bonding was not successful. This happens more frequently with white composite fillings. Lastly, there may be some new decay in or around the filling. Whatever the reason for a lost filling, the tooth needs immediate care.

The first thing to do is be sure the filling is completely removed. You don’t want to end up swallowing any of it or breathe it in. It will cause no harm if swallowed but filling material that you accidentally breathe in can cause infection in the lungs.

It is not necessary to keep the lost filling unless it is a gold or ceramic inlay that may be cemented back into place, although this is rare. Try not to chew on the side with the lost filling so that the tooth does not get damaged or broken further. Even though it is not a dire emergency, it is important to call Emergency Dental Centers and get the filling replaced before the tooth does get damaged or you begin to have tooth pain.

While waiting to get the tooth repaired, it is important to keep the area extremely clean. When a filling falls out of a tooth, it becomes a perfect trap for food, which could eventually cause an accumulation of damaging bacteria. Brush the area well in and around that tooth to remove any debris. Follow up with a warm saltwater rinse.

Sometimes a lost filling can cause sensitivity to the tooth when dentin tubules that lead to the pulp of the tooth are exposed. The pulp has nerves that feel pain and are sensitive to hot and cold. To alleviate pain of a sensitive tooth, you can gain temporary relief from an over-the-counter medication such as aspirin, Tylenol, or Advil, depending on what works best for you.

Emergency Dental Centers to get the tooth repaired.

Most often, our dentist will want to see you fairly quick in the event of a lost filling. The concern will be further damage to the tooth as well as any discomfort you are experiencing.

If you’ve lost a filling, give one of our Emergency Dental Centers a call today.

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