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What to Do If You Have Lost a Filling

What to Do If You Have Lost a Filling
Mid Wilshire dentistry
Posted on: June 21, 2019

Fillings are materials used to fill cavities in the teeth.Crowns cover the tops of damaged teeth. Sometimes, fillings or crowns fall out. In some cases, a filling or crown may come loose because there is decay underneath it. The decay destroys part of the tooth, so it no longer has a tight hold on the crown or filling.

Dental fillings are an incredibly common type of dental restoration used to treat cavities and decay. In fact, nearly 91% of Americans between 20 and 64 have at least one dental filling. While dental fillings are strong and can last for many years, there are still some things that can cause a dental filling to become loose or fall out.

Here’s what to do if that happens:

Call Your Dentist

The first thing you should do is contact your dentist. Your dentist will provide you with all the information that you need.

What You Can Do at Home

If you lose a filling, there are important steps you should take in order to protect your tooth and ease any discomfort.

  • Clean the area. When a filling falls out, your tooth is left with a small hole that food and bacteria can get wedged into. If left there, it could lead to more damage. Rinse with salt water or gently brush the area after eating.
  • Reduce pain. Using a pain reliever can help minimize any sensitivity and increase comfort. There are also temporary fillers available at many pharmacies. Look for one that contains zinc oxide and place it in the gap, but only temporarily.

A lost filling or crown is rarely an emergency. However, it can be painful because the exposed tooth tissue is often sensitive to temperature, pressure or air. If you lose a crown, put it in a safe place and make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as you can.Don't wait too long.

What is left of the tooth will not be as strong as your crown. It could be damaged more without the crown to protect it. Also, when a crown is missing for a long time, your teeth may move into the space where the crown was. If this happens, your crown may no longer fit.

What Your Dentist Will Do

Decay may have changed the shape of your tooth. Usually, this means that your dentist will need to prepare the tooth again to ensure the new crown will fit. If the crown does not fit securely, it will come off again.

If you lose a filling, your dentist will remove the decay that developed between the old filling and the tooth and place a new filling.

Avoid the Problem in the First Place

While very common, there are ways you can avoid losing a filling, including choosing your snacks wisely. Many lost or loose fillings are the results of sticky foods or hidden popcorn kernels, so be sure to eat these in moderation and use caution.If you've lost a filling, call Mid Wilshire Dentistry. We can also do a checkup and general examination to find any other dental issues that need addressing.

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