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Tooth Filling Fell Out What Should I Do

By Arcade Dental / June 20, 2024

Imagine enjoying your favorite meal or simply going about your day when suddenly, you notice something amiss—a tooth filling has fallen out. This common dental issue can be concerning but understanding why it happens and what steps to take can help you navigate this situation calmly and effectively. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about what to do when a tooth filling falls out, from immediate steps to long-term solutions and costs involved.

Is a Fallen Out Filling an Emergency?

When a tooth filling falls out, it can feel like an emergency, but the severity depends on various factors. If you experience pain, sensitivity to hot or cold, or if a large portion of the filling has detached, it’s crucial to seek dental attention promptly. However, if it’s a small filling and you’re not in pain, it may not require immediate emergency care but should still be addressed soon to prevent further damage or decay.

What Should You Do if a Filling Falls Out?

Acting quickly can help minimize discomfort and prevent complications. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Remove the Filling (if Possible): If the filling has fallen out completely, try to find it. Clean it and keep it safe as your dentist may be able to reuse it if it’s in good condition.
  2. Clean the Area: Gently rinse your mouth with warm water to remove any food particles or debris.
  3. Temporary Solutions: If you can’t see a dentist immediately, over-the-counter dental cement or temporary filling material can be used to cover the cavity temporarily.
  4. Avoid Certain Foods: Until you can see your dentist, try to avoid chewing on the side where the filling fell out to prevent further damage.

What Can Cause a Filling to Come Loose?

Several factors can lead to a filling becoming loose or falling out:

  • Tooth Decay: If decay forms around the edges of the filling, it can weaken the bond with the tooth.
  • Chewing Pressure: Over time, constant pressure from chewing and biting can cause fillings to wear down or become loose.
  • Grinding Teeth: Bruxism (teeth grinding) can accelerate wear and tear on fillings.
  • Age of the Filling: Fillings can weaken and break down over the years, especially if they are old or made of certain materials.

Understanding these causes can help prevent future issues with fillings and maintain oral health.

What if My Filling Fell Out But It Doesn’t Hurt?

Even if you’re not experiencing pain, it’s still crucial to see your dentist as soon as possible. Remember, the exposed tooth is vulnerable to decay and infection, even without immediate discomfort. Early intervention can prevent these problems and potentially save you from more extensive and expensive dental work down the line.

Is It Normal for Bits of Fillings to Fall Out?

Occasional small bits of filling material coming loose can happen, especially with older fillings or those under constant stress from chewing. However, if it’s a recurring issue or a large portion of the filling comes out, it indicates a need for replacement.

How Long Can You Go If a Tooth Filling Falls Out?

It’s best not to delay getting a replacement filling. Leaving a cavity exposed can lead to further decay and potentially more extensive dental work in the future. Schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Filling?

The cost of replacing a filling can vary based on factors such as the location of the tooth, the size of the filling, and the material used. On average, expect to pay between $100 to $500 per filling. Dental insurance may cover a portion of the cost, so check with your provider for details.

Is It OK to Leave a Broken Filling?

Leaving a broken filling untreated can lead to several issues, including:

  • Increased risk of decay and infection.
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages.
  • Weakening of the tooth structure over time.

Addressing a broken or fallen-out filling promptly helps maintain oral health and prevents more extensive dental procedures.

Get Your Filling Replacement at Arcade Dental in Pharr

At Arcade Dental in Pharr, we specialize in comprehensive dental care, including fillings, crowns, and emergency dental services. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing gentle and effective treatments to restore your smile’s health and function. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and ensure your dental concerns are addressed promptly and professionally.