Family Dentist And Fillings: What Happens If Your Filling Falls Out

Did a filling just fall out? Whether you're not sure if you lost the entire filling or you don't know what to do next, continue reading to take a look at everything you need to know about this dental dilemma and why you should contact your family dentist as soon as possible. 

Can A Filling Fall Out?

Even though dental fillings are permanent restorations that you can't remove on your own, it is possible for the material to accidentally fall out. Fillings are made from composite resins (a tooth-colored filler), amalgam (silver and other metals), or gold, according to the American Dental Association. While these are all strong, durable options, new decay, tooth grinding, an injury, some types of chemical reactions, and over-chewing hard foods could loosen any filling.

How Do You Know If A Filling Is Loose?

You may not notice a loose filling until it falls out. Signs of a missing filling include a new or sudden pain in the area, sensitivity to hot or cold foods/beverages, a noticeable hole, or an injury (such as a crack in the tooth). You may also see or feel the filling inside of your mouth. 

What Should You Do If A Filling Falls Out?

Did the filling fall into your mouth? If you see or feel the filling, remove it from your mouth immediately. Even though it seems like you would always notice a filling that falls into your mouth, you could accidentally swallow it—especially if the restoration was small. 

Contact your dentist after you find, feel, or know a filling is missing. If you still have the filling, keep it safe and bring it with you to the dentist's office. Never attempt to push the filling back into place or reattach it yourself. The dentist will need to examine the area and determine whether the material is safe and reusable. 

The dental office staff can provide you with next-step instructions for oral care. These may include a saltwater rinse or gargle to remove debris and keep the tooth clean and foods to avoid until your appointment. Dental wax can help to cover jagged exposed tooth fragments. This can reduce the likelihood that the tooth will cut your mouth or tongue.

When Should You Visit the Dentist's Office?

Again, contact the office as soon as you notice a missing filling. The ideal time to visit the office is immediately after you lose the filling. But fillings won't always fall out during normal business hours. If you can't go to the dentist as soon as possible, ask the office staff for self-care directions. Along with dental wax use, you may need to take over-the-counter pain relievers or use cold compresses. 

Contact a local family dentist to learn more.