No one looks forward to this, but a filling falling out can just be a freak incident.  Maybe it became loose and popped out while you were eating or brushing your teeth, or you were hit in the mouth by a baseball.  Whatever it may have been, leaving that gap in your tooth can lead to bacteria and food particles accessing the inner part of your tooth which eventually can cause damage to the nerve and lead to you needing a root canal, or worse loss of that tooth.  At Streamwood Family Dentistry, our goal is to provide the best quality dental care while educating our patients to a healthy mouth.

How will you know if your Filling is becoming loose?

Some of the symptoms of a loose filling are tooth sensitivity, pain when eating with the tooth, sharp pain or a constant toothache.  You can also notice holes in your tooth and find that your dental floss shreds or comes out with pieces of food.  To prevent this from an urgent broken/lost filling, visit Streamwood Family Dentistry for regular examinations (at least twice a year).  Your Streamwood dentist – Dr. Shah will notice any looseness or potential for a lost filling and replace it without further damage to the tooth.

What To Do If Your Filling Falls Out

If the filling actually falls out, or you notice a piece of your tooth having fallen out, there are a few steps to make sure you handle this emergency properly:

  1. If it is dangling in the mouth with a sharp piece that is loose, remove the filling if you can to avoid swallowing it. If you leave it in and it slips further, you can swallow the filling, which can lead to an infection in your lungs.
  2. Call us immediately @ (847)740-0219 or visit StreamwoodFamilyDentistry.com to schedule an appointment online. We have dedicated times to help patients with these types of emergencies and we take pride in getting people in the same day or next day in emergency situations.  In an event of severe pain or swelling, we also have an emergency phone line that comes directly to Dr.Shah’s cell phone so you can get the attention you need without delay.
  3. You can visit your local pharmacy where you may be able to get a temporary filling paste that you can use to cover any open areas on the tooth or sharp edges that may be rubbing your tongue and causing irritation.
  4. Do not avoid brushing rest of the mouth………Remove the debris caught in the hole in your tooth by brushing very carefully inside the hole. You should also rinse out your mouth with warm salt water after eating to wash away any leftover food particles in your tooth.

What are your Treatment Options for Restoring the Tooth?

Once examined, your dentist will recommend the restorative options based on the amount of healthy tooth structure that remains.   If the surrounding tooth structure is more than 2/3rds intact, a simple filling can suffice.  If remaining tooth structure is less than ½ intact, then the tooth requires more protection from the chewing forces and will benefit from a full coverage restoration, like a crown.  If the fracture of the filling and damage of the tooth extends below the gums and limited to no healthy tooth structure remains, then the tooth will be deemed non-restorable and require an extraction.

As you can see, a proper examination with an x-ray is necessary for your dentist to evaluate the possible solutions.  Rest assured, time is of the essence and not delaying the initial evaluation visit will go a long way in saving the tooth and avoiding more invasive and costly procedures.

We hope this post was helpful in understanding what to do if you lost a filling.  Please call Streamwood Family Dentistry @ (847)740-0219 if you have any questions or to schedule your visit with Dr.Shah.