There’s no way to sugarcoat it: losing a filling is never going to be fun or remotely convenient, but that doesn’t stop it from happening occasionally. The truth is that dental fillings don’t always last a lifetime, and they can sometimes fall out. If that happens, Dr. Robert M. Walley wants you to know how to deal with your dental emergency so you can get the same-day dental care you need to fix the issue.
What Causes a Filling to Fall Out?
There are a handful of catalysts for causing a filling to fall out. The most common culprits include:
- New decay around the filling
- Chewing too hard
- Crunchy foods, such as hard candies or ice cubes
- Teeth grinding
- Getting hit in the mouth in a sporting accident, vehicle crash, or some other trauma
- Your tooth coming into contact with some sort of chemical that weakens the bonding holding the filling in place
How to Handle a Lost Filling
If you’ve lost a filling, you must take care of the issue as soon as possible. If the tooth doesn’t hurt immediately, it likely will at some point very soon. Furthermore, leaving an unhealthy tooth wide open makes it more susceptible to further decay and damage. The sooner you get the issue corrected, the more likely you are to save what’s left of the tooth and avoid further problems and pain.
Here are the steps you should take if your tooth falls out:
- Call your dentist. This should always be the first step, as Dr. Walley and his staff will help you navigate the next steps to get you into the office for emergency dental services. If you’re experiencing pain, Dr. Walley’s team may have some suggestions for how to minimize it until you can be seen.
- Save the filling. Dr. Walley may be able to re-use it, which makes the entire process faster and more convenient.
- Keep your tooth clean. While you’re waiting to have the cavity re-filled, do your best to keep the tooth clean. Gargling with salt water can help kill bacteria and help prevent an infection.
- Keep brushing! Just as you have been every other day of your life, continue to brush and floss as best you can until your dental appointment.
- Avoid that tooth. Try not to eat on that side while the tooth is exposed. The last thing you want to do is cause any further damage to the exposed area.
Fixing a Filling at Dr. Walley’s Office
In a perfect world, Dr. Walley would be able to re-cement the filling and pop it right back into your tooth with no problem, but that isn’t always how things go. Every situation is different, and there are cases where patients in San Francisco need root canal services, crowns, caps, or even tooth extraction in severe cases. We’ll do everything we can to simply provide a new filling and get you on your way, but we want to do all we can to save a tooth and correct the problem as quickly and painlessly as possible. Whatever causes your filling to fall out, know that help is just a phone call away!