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Dental Filling Fiasco: What to Do If Yours Falls Out

January 8, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — kathylamdds @ 5:24 pm
3D rendering of 3 teeth with different dental fillings

It’s easy to forget that you have a dental filling until something happens, and it comes loose. Whether you were eating sticky candy that yanked it out of place or regularly grind your teeth, it’s important to get to your emergency dentist quickly to replace it. It was protecting a wounded tooth, and you don’t want to risk additional injury now that it’s dislodged. It’s normal to feel anxious in a situation like this, so keep reading to learn about 4 proactive steps you can take to help yourself if your filling falls out!

Step #1: Call for Help

If you haven’t already done so, take a moment to call your dentist. While it’s not always considered an urgent situation, losing a filling is an oral health risk. Harmful bacteria can gather in the now-exposed cavity to cause additional problems, or your tooth could simply break because its structure is already compromised. Because of this, your dentist will likely try to schedule a same-day appointment if they offer them. If not, they’ll book a time for you to come in as soon as possible. They will likely also provide care instructions for you to follow until you arrive.

Step #2: Be Cautious

You can probably still eat and drink in the time leading up to your dental visit, but you’ll need to be careful. Try to avoid chewing anything with your vulnerable tooth so do your best to use the opposite side of your mouth. This helps keep food particles and unwanted germs away from the decayed area to keep it clean. You may also have some discomfort or increased sensitivity to overly hot or cold foods and beverages so try to steer clear of them.

Step #3: Rinse Your Mouth

It’s important to keep your mouth clean and wash out any remaining germs or food particles. That said, you don’t want to use anything abrasive like mouthwash at this time. Instead, rinse with saltwater. This will neutralize any acids eating away at your enamel as well as eradicate unhealthy microbes. Simply mix ½ teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Sip, swish, and spit until the glass is empty.

Step #4: Manage Symptoms

If your filling fell out because you were injured, or if you’re having any aches and pains, there’s no reason to be in pain while you wait. It’s usually safe to take over-the-counter medications like Tylenol and ibuprofen to keep throbbing or swelling to a minimum. If necessary, you can also hold an ice pack to that side of your face for a temporary numbing sensation.

Soon, it’ll be time for your appointment and your dentist will examine your tooth to determine the best treatment. In some cases, all that’s required is another filling. If your pearly white sustained additional damage, however, your dentist might recommend a dental crown instead. Either way, your grin will be beautifully restored so you can resume life as usual!

About the Author

Dr. Kathy Lam takes pride in helping patients achieve and maintain their ideal smiles. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed her Doctor of Dental Surgery at Howard University College of Dentistry. She provides a wide range of services to meet all your dental care needs under one roof, including emergency dentistry. If your filling fell out and you need help, you’re welcome to request an appointment on the website or by calling (630) 653-7720.

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