What to Do If You Lose a Dental Filling

Dental fillings can last a lifetime, but it's also not impossible for them to fall out while you are eating. If you have lost a dental filling, then you should follow these steps to get it repaired as soon as possible.

1. Call Your Dentist

Although not an emergency, losing a dental filling is something that requires attention from a dentist within the next few days. As soon as the filling falls out, call your dentist to find out when they can fit you in for an appointment.

2. Soothe the Site

As tempting as it is to prod and poke at the site that the filling fell out of, try to avoid touching it as much as possible. Every time you touch an unfilled cavity, you risk introducing bacteria, which could cause decay inside the tooth. Rinse your mouth regularly with salt water, eat only soft foods, chew on the other side of your mouth and resist the urge to touch the affected tooth with your fingers.

3. Consider Using a Temporary Filling

If you can't see a dentist right away, consider using a temporary filling kit to make a short-term repair to the tooth yourself. You can buy these kits in pharmacies or order them online. If ordering online, ensure that the kit is approved by dentists. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Kits can only produce temporary repairs, so you still need to see your dentist to get a new filling fitted.

4. Decide What Kind of Filling You Want as a Replacement

If the filling that fell out was an old-fashioned amalgam filling, you have the option to replace it with a white filling made from dental composite material. These fillings can be more expensive, but they look more natural and can be moulded more precisely to the shape of the cavity, which means less drilling.

If the cavity has grown since the filling was placed, the dentist might suggest fitting a crown instead. Crowns completely cover the damaged top of the tooth and are very effective at protecting the root from decay.

5. Prevent Future Filling Losses

You are more likely to lose a filling if your teeth are in poor condition. Regular dental check-ups can help to avoid this situation by giving the dentist a chance to identify and replace worn fillings before they fall out. If you do not already have a check-up scheduled, book one now. For more information, contact a dentist.