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How to Handle a Lost Dental Filling

January 9, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — summitfamilydentistry @ 2:49 am

Young woman at an emergency dentistDental fillings are a long-lasting solution to treat tooth decay, but they don’t last forever. It’s not unusual for a filling to fall out over time. If you’ve lost a dental filling, don’t panic! It is best to schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. While you wait for your appointment, here’s what you should do to protect your tooth.

Common Causes of a Lost Filling

The average lifespan of a filling is about 5 to 15 years. Many factors will affect how long your filling lasts, like the materials used, your aftercare routine, and your diet. While you can prolong its life expectancy, it won’t last forever. Eventually, it may fall out. Common reasons for dental filling failure include:

  • New Decay Around the Filling
  • Chewing Hard Foods
  • Grinding Your Teeth
  • Trauma to the Tooth
  • Chemical Reaction
  • Older Filling

A Lost Filling is a Dental Emergency

A lost dental filling is a dental emergency, even if you’re not experiencing any pain. Your tooth will be vulnerable to bacteria that can cause decay or an infection. Not to mention, it may be structurally compromised, which can increase your risk of a break or fracture. It’s best to see a dentist right away to have your filling replaced. You’ll prevent a small issue from turning into a big problem.

Tips for Managing a Lost Filling

If your filling fell out, here’s what you can do to make the stressful situation easier:

  • Contact Your Dentist: Contact your dentist for an appointment.
  • Gargle with Salt Water: Rinse your mouth with salt water to kill bacteria. It will also reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Keep Your Mouth Clean: Brush your teeth after every meal to remove food residue and plaque. Floss your teeth every day.
  • Chew Carefully: Chew slowly and on the opposite side of your mouth until your tooth has been repaired.
  • Watch What You Eat: Eat soft foods that require minimal chewing. Avoid any hot or cold foods and drinks to prevent tooth sensitivity. 
  • Use Dental Wax: Apply dental wax for a temporary seal, but don’t use it as a long-term solution.
  • Manage Any Pain: Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to manage any discomfort.

Your emergency dentist will get you into the office to examine your mouth. They may take digital X-rays and perform other diagnostic services. Depending on your situation, you may require a little prep work before replacing your filling, like removing new decay.

Your dentist will use a tooth-colored filling, which will match the color of your enamel to blend in. You’ll get the quick care you need, so you can get back to enjoying your day.

About Dr. Dinesh Patel

Dr. Patel achieved his dental degree from the State University at Buffalo and has continued his training regularly to provide up-to-date services. He strives to deliver personalized dental care using the latest innovations in dentistry. Request an appointment through his website or call his office at (814) 529-7257.

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