What To Do If Your Filling Comes Out

Losing a filling can be a mild inconvenience or a major health emergency, depending on the circumstances and the state of your tooth. Regardless of what you experience, knowing what to do is important if you want to avoid discomfort.

Assess the Situation

Don't panic, but do take a few minutes to assess the situation. If you still have the filling, save it in a small jar or bag. In some cases, your dentist will be able to reuse the filling, particularly if it is a crown or shaped bond that was made to look like a natural tooth surface. Being able to reuse it can save you money on the repair.

Next, determine if there is any immediate pain or other issues. In some cases, a filling comes out when a tooth cracks or chips, which can happen more easily with a tooth that already has a filling. Blood, severe pain, or immediate swelling can also indicate that the injury entails more than just a simple broken filling.

Take Emergency Care Steps

After saving the filling, if possible, your next step is to address any immediate pain or discomfort. If the tooth or gums are bleeding, bite down on a folded piece of gauze for five to ten minutes so that the blood can stop flowing. Once this is done, carefully rinse your mouth with water. You can dab the tooth with clove oil to relieve the pain if necessary.

If there is no blood or other obvious trauma, simply rinse your mouth and be careful until you can see your dentist. It's a good idea to chew on the opposite of your mouth to avoid further damage if you must eat prior to the dental appointment. Further, make sure to keep the tooth clean.

Call Your Dentist

Once immediate steps are complete, the final step is to call your dentist. If you have no other trauma or severe pain, they will likely schedule you to come in at the next available appointment. If this is more than 24 hours out, you can place a small amount of dental wax over the hole in your tooth to help combat sensitivity and to keep it clean.

For more severe trauma or pain, you may be referred to an emergency dentist. This dentist can see you no matter the time or hour. They can quickly assess the damage and either repair the tooth, which may require a filling or root canal, or they can extract the tooth if it can't be saved.

Contact an emergency dentist in your area if you lose a filling.