What To Do If Your Filling Falls Out
Fillings can loosen and fall out. While this is not an emergency, when your dental filling falls out, it can cause pain since it exposes the tooth tissue, which is often sensitive to air, pressure, hot and cold temperatures. If this happens to you, then the first thing you need to do is to contact your dentist.
What Causes Dental Fillings To Fall Out?
According to the American Dental Association, various factors can cause a tooth filling to fall out. It could be as a result of the constant assault on teeth from eating and drinking, grinding, or even clenching. A tooth filling can also loosen and fall out due to tooth decay. Tooth decay causes your tooth to change its structure, resulting in loose fillings that no longer fit the tooth well.
Other times, the fillings may fall out if you suffer trauma of some kind that caused your tooth to chip, or crack.
What Is A Tooth Filling?
A tooth filling is a form of treatment for tooth cavities. It is used to replace tooth tissue that has been lost to decay. The dentist removes the decayed tooth tissue before filling up the space with a filling material. While dental fillings can last many years, eventually, they will need to be replaced over time.
What You Can Do Immediately
Once you realize that your filling has fallen out, there are several things you need to do immediately;
- Check to see if you can reach the sensitive area to apply some over-the-counter clove oil using a cotton swab. The clove oil will help ease tooth pain.
- If you have the filling, try to slip it back into place. Make sure that you clean the inside of the tooth thoroughly before putting back the filling. You can then find some temporary tooth cement from a pharmacy to hold it in place temporarily.
- If you have lost the filling, cover the tooth surface using over the counter tooth cement. This will help to seal and protect the area until you can see your dentist.
- Avoid extremes of hot and cold food and drinks to avoid further discomfort or pain.
- If you are not in pain there is no need to do any of the above, except keep it as clean as possible and chew on the other side of your mouth.
How To Prevent Fillings From Falling Out
Regular dental care
Regular dental care is crucial to preventing your tooth fillings from falling out. This allows your dentist to identify any uneven wear or open margins long before you even realise there is a problem. Regular dental visits will also provide instructions in proper oral hygiene to control bacterial plaque, which is a leading cause of decay. Regular dental visits can help prevent a requirement for fillings as well as more expensive treatments in the long run such as dentures or dental implants.
Good oral care
Maintaining good oral care ensures that no bacteria works its way between your tooth and filling.
Use a mouthguard whenever you engage in any sports or activities where you could potentially sustain some dental damage.
Also, do not chew on hard candies or ice.
What Will The Dentist Do?
What the dentist will do majorly depends on the extent of damage on your tooth;
- If the tooth’s structure is sound and the filling still fits well, your dentist will clean the tooth and replace the filling.
- If the tooth is affected by decay, the dentist will need to prepare it again by removing the decayed area. After that, they will place a new filling that fits well to replace the ill-fitting one.
- If a fallen tooth filling leaves a deep cavity or exposes your tooth nerve, the dentist may need to conduct a root canal followed by a cap or crown to restore its integrity
- In severe cases, a lost filling may require the tooth to be extracted.
Advances in dental material and techniques offer new ways to create fillings that are more appealing and provide natural-looking smiles.
This filling is composed of a combination of materials, including copper, tin, silver, and mercury. It is affordable, resistant to wear, easy to use and durable. However, a large portion of the amalgam filling is composed of elemental mercury. According to the FDA, (Food and Drug Administration), regular mercury vapour exposure is associated with harmful effects on the kidneys and the brain.
It is for this reason that some European countries like Sweden, Denmark, and Norway have banned the use of amalgam fillings in dental practice.
At Savina Dental Clinic, we are a Mercury Safe & Mercury Free Dental practice. We have invested in specialised equipment and training to gain the necessary skill and experience required to minimise the patient’s exposure to mercury’s toxic vapour during the removal process.
Types of Fillings offered at Savina Dental Clinic
This filling is made of a mixture of acrylic resin and fine glass-like particles that yield a tooth-coloured restoration. It provides resistance to fracture and durability in small- to mid-sized restorations that require to withstand moderate chewing pressure.
This is a tooth-coloured material that is made of a mixture of fluoride-containing glass powder and organic acid. It forms a stable restoration that is also able to release fluoride.
This is a form of indirect filling that requires more than one dental appointment to be fixed. They look like natural teeth, are resistant to wear, tear and staining are much stronger than other filling materials. Porcelain restorations are required when too much of the original tooth structure has been lost.
These fillings are the most durable of all options available, however, they are becoming rarer these days.
Filling Falling Out F.A.Q
Can a cracked filling be repaired?
In most cases, yes, a cracked filling can be repaired. However, in case the old filling is beyond repair, they will discuss with you the different filling material options available.
How often do fillings need to be replaced?
While there is no one-size fits all, there are various things that you should look out for to determine whether it is time to have them replaced;
- Signs of decay: If not replaced, tooth decay may cause further damage.
- Chipping or cracking: In case of cracking, your filling poses a pathway for bacterial entry beneath the existing filling that will lead to further decay. It should, therefore, be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
- A leaky filling: A leaky filling causes saliva and bacteria to mix, resulting in future problems. To prevent this from happening, respond to any leaks as soon as possible before they get out of hand.
How much does it cost to replace a filling that fell out?
Replacing a filling that fell out costs from €45, depending on the size of the cavity. However, in case of a tooth decay that requires a root canal, the price can start at €225 (three visits included). View our Malta dental treatments indicative pricing page for more details.
Can dental fillings be removed?
Yes. However, this should be done by a qualified and certified dental practitioner. At Savina Dental Clinics, we safely remove amalgam fillings for €30.
Do dental fillings contain mercury?
Yes. Amalgam fillings contain mercury, which releases vapour that can be harmful to human health. It is for this reason that at Savina Dental Clinic, we offer mercury-free and mercury-safe dental practice to all our clients.
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If you are worried about a dental related issue, interested in travelling to Malta for a dental holiday or have questions about any of the treatments we offer, please contact us using our new free e-Consultation service. One of our highly-qualified team will respond to your query as soon as possible. Our e-Consultation service is live 9am – 6pm Monday to Friday.
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Savina Clinic – Dental & Implantology Centres are friendly, state-of-the-art practices in Malta and Gozo dedicated to comprehensive quality dental care. Savina Dental is an innovative dental practice in Malta and prides itself on the high-quality customer service, low waiting room times, attention to detail and the advanced dental technology at their disposal.