What to do if Your Filling Falls Out
Dental fillings do not always last forever. Given this fact, it should not be surprising that one of your fillings might fall out without any notice. If you have ever experienced a lost filling, you know that it can happen suddenly and without warning. When you lose a filling you will typically notice something hard, like a small rock, floating around in your mouth. In some cases, you might not notice that your filling has fallen out until your tongue brushes up against your tooth - and the tooth doesn't feel quite right. No matter your experience, it's important to not ignore a lost filling.
Don't Panic if You've Lost a Filling
If one of your fillings has fallen out, don't panic. A lost filling is a relatively common occurrence. If you notice a lost filling in your mouth, remove the filling and do not attempt to push it back into your tooth before seeking advice from your dentist. If you cannot find the filling, it's possible that you swallowed it. Don't worry. Many people accidentally swallow a lost filling without realizing what happened.
The first thing to do after finding that a filling has fallen out is call your dentist. If you do not have a regular dentist, call your dental insurance plan and ask for a referral. If you do not have dental insurance, you can quickly join an affordable discount dental plan which will provide you with a discount on dental services.
Make sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist to have your lost filling replaced as soon as possible. In many cases, a lost filling will not cause you immediate or severe pain. But if you do experience pain, ask your dentist for advice on how to handle the pain until you can get to your appointment. You may be advised to take over-the-counter pain medication.
What to do While You Wait for a Dental Appointment
It may be that you cannot see your dentist for a few days or a few weeks. In the meantime, it's important to take very good care of the tooth with the lost filling. It is advisable to avoid chewing hard foods on the tooth until it is repaired. This can prevent further damage to the tooth. Remember, when a tooth has a lost filling, it is not as strong.
What Causes a Filling to Fall Out?
There are several reasons that a filling may fall out of your tooth, including:
- The filling is old. Not all fillings last forever.
- The type of filling material. Certain filling materials are more durable than others.
- You grind your teeth. Teeth grinding and clenching over the course of many years can cause a filling to become loose.
- You regularly chew on hard items. Chewing on hard items can cause a filling to chip and dislodge.
- You hit the filling in the wrong spot while eating. Even if you are very careful, there might be a situation in which you hit the filling very hard a single time, which can cause the filling to break.
Don't Ignore a Lost Filling
Even if your lost filling does not cause any pain, it's important to have the filling replaced as soon as possible. A lost filling that is not replaced can cause your tooth to weaken. Having the problem fixed will reduce your chance of developing a more severe dental problem in the future. Contact your dentist today if you have a lost filling. Your dental insurance or your membership in a discount dental plan should help offset the cost of necessary dental work.