Knowing what to do if your tooth filling fell out

Broken Filling

Blog Highlights:

  • If you can locate the tooth filling that fell off, you should take it to the dentist as he or she might be able to repair it.
  • You can use dental wax to temporarily cover the cavity
  • You should avoid foods or beverages that are hot, cold, sweet, or acidic so you can avoid damaging your teeth further
  • Recent fillings need time to harden, this is why you should avoid eating hard foods for the mean time
  • The cost of the procedure will depend on what type of filling will be used
  • A composite resin re-filling on the other hand, can cost $125 or more

Dental fillings can sometimes get loose and it can also fall off, if you are able to locate it, you should keep it and take it to your dentist.

There are many reasons why a tooth filling can fall off. It typically happens when you put your teeth under a lot of pressure as you try to chew hard food. Your saliva can also loosen the filling especially when it gets into the cavity and when it slowly reacts to the filling that your dentist used. If the decay that was supposed to be covered by the filling was not actually controlled properly, the enamel around the filling can deteriorate, this can also cause the filling to fall off unexpectedly.

If the filling was not properly placed by the dentist, the inner portion of your tooth will still be accessible to food particles and bacteria. This means that the tooth will still decay over time, and that the tooth will develop pain and sensitivity in the future.

Here’s what you need to do in case your tooth filling falls out:

  • Keep the tooth filling and take it to your dentist. The dentist can assess the filling and see whether it needs to be replaced, or if it can be reused.
  • Brush the affected tooth carefully, and use a gentle mouth was when cleaning your teeth.
  • If the affected tooth is causing you pain, you can try to rub oil of clove around it to help numb the area temporarily.
  • You can use dental wax to temporarily cover the hole in your tooth.
  • You can also take ibuprofen or Tylenol to help lessen the pain. You can ask your dentist for the proper usage of these medications.
  • Be sure to see your dentist ASAP. The exposed gap is very susceptible to pain and bacterial attack, this is why should have it fixed so you can avoid having to deal with other problems.
  • Keep food away from the affected tooth by chewing food on the opposite side of the mouth.
  • You should only eat foods that will not induce pain, or cause further decay to the exposed tooth.

Foods that you need to avoid

The affected tooth will be temporarily exposed until you have the cavity fixed by a dentist. This is why you should avoid the following foods for the mean time:

Hot foods or beverages – Hot foods and beverages can cause a serious amount of pain if they were to come in contact with the affected tooth.  This is why you should refrain from consuming tea, coffee, and soup temporarily.

Cold foods and beverages – The same thing goes with food items that are very cold. As a matter of fact, even after getting your tooth fixed, you should still stay away from ice cream and icy cold drinks for a few days as the area will still be sensitive to cold. If you do want to drink something cold, you can use a straw so you can avoid letting the beverage come into contact with the affected tooth.

Erosive drinks – These drinks are considered dangerous not just because they are acidic, but also because they contain a lot of sugar. These drinks can help the bacteria to thrive in your mouth, making your teeth very susceptible to tooth decay. These drinks can also make your filling fall off over time.

Sweets – Sweet, sticky food can leave debris and deposits on your teeth that can help bacteria to thrive and wreak havoc in your mouth.

Hard foods – Biting on hard foods can put a great deal of pressure on your teeth. Consuming them can cause cracks to develop on your teeth and it can also destroy the filling. Make sure that you avoid this kind of foods especially after a recent filling as it can take a while for the filling to harden properly.

Acidic foods and beverages – Sodas, citrus fruits, pickles, and even tomatoes can erode your teeth enamel over time. The acid in these foods and beverages can dissolve the enamel around the filling and it can also make your teeth sensitive.

How much does a tooth filling cost

Depending on what kind of dental filling is used, the procedure can cost between $65 to a few hundred dollars.  Composite resin re-filling on the other hand can cost $125 or more.

When your tooth filling falls off, your dentist will most likely try to repair it and put it back on. But if the old filling can no longer be repaired, your dentist will have to re-asses the cavity and discuss with you what filling materials might best suit your needs.

You should also maintain proper dental hygiene daily. This will help you avoid having to deal with other dental problems later on. You should make it a point to brush and floss regularly, and to see your dentist every six months as soon as your tooth cavity has been treated.