When a filling falls out, your first reaction may be to panic. But don’t worry — this is rarely a dental emergency. Fillings don’t last forever, so it’s a good idea to be prepared for this scenario.
Why Do Fillings Come Loose?
Fillings aren’t supposed to fall out, but it happens. Typically, a filling falls out because of pressure placed on it, like if you chew something extremely hard. Another reason is because decay has infected the tooth, loosening the bonding.
Your best defense against a loosening filling is regular dental appointments. Your dentist’s job is to monitor fillings and keep an eye on their margins, closely watching for further decay. Your dentist can alert you when it’s time to be proactive with fillings, before they fall out.
But if yours suddenly comes out without warning, here’s what to do:
Clean Your Teeth
To make sure no bacteria reach the inside of the tooth, brush around the area and rinse your mouth with water. If you eat or drink anything besides water before you see your dentist, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth, and rinse immediately afterward.
The first sign of a missing or loose filling is often discomfort, because the tooth’s nerves will be exposed. Purchase clove oil from the pharmacy and rub it over the affected tooth and surrounding gums. This will help numb the area. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication.
Call Your Dentist
Contact your dentist’s office as soon as possible. They will make time to see you right away so they can determine the best treatment.
When a filling falls out because of further decay, they will remove the affected parts of the tooth and refit you for a new filling. Depending on the extent of the problem, they may need to do a root canal. If there isn’t enough natural tooth left to support a filling, you may need to be outfitted for a crown instead.
Contact Oak Hills Dentistry if a filling falls out or if you’re having trouble with a loosening crown or dental restoration. Our team is at the ready to help repair your teeth and get your smile back to normal.