What Do I Do If My Old Filling Fails?

While dental fillings are meant to replace missing tooth structure that’s been removed to treat tooth decay or to fill in holes from dental trauma, they don’t last forever. Depending on how long you’ve had your fillings, they could be at risk of falling out. Read on in this blog from West Allen Dental to find out how to know if a dental filling has fallen out, what to do if it does and if it’s considered a dental emergency.

Signs Your Filling Needs to Be Replaced

If you never have your dental fillings replaced, they will eventually fail. Fillings are temporary treatments and cannot withstand chewing forces and other forms of wear and tear forever. If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to get a new filling placed:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Toothache or tenderness, especially when chewing
  • Your fillings feel loose
  • Tooth discoloration around the filling
  • The filling becomes dislodged when eating 
  • There is a hole where your filling used to be

What to Do If You’ve Lost a Filling

When you notice a filling is missing, you should contact the dentist right away. Explain what happened and any other symptoms you are experiencing. Avoid touching or disturbing the tooth as much as possible. 

Until you can get to the dentist, chew on the other side of your mouth, and don’t brush or floss directly near the tooth. Instead, swish around a warm saline solution to remove bacteria. Take anti-inflammatory pain medication to relieve pain or discomfort. 

Is a Lost Filling a Dental Emergency?

This depends on what accompanying symptoms you have. If you have lost a filling but do not have any other significant symptoms, then you can likely wait for a normal dental appointment. 

However, if you have severe tooth pain, swelling, abscess, feelings of unwellness, or increased sensitivity, these are signs of an infection. Signs of a tooth infection qualify as a dental emergency and in that case, you should come in for an emergency appointment right away.

You can reduce swelling by applying a cold compress to your face for about 15 minutes on and off and keeping your head elevated. Do not hesitate to come to the dentist by trying to treat your pain and swelling yourself. Call us right away and we will make you our priority.

Replace Missing Fillings At West Allen Dental

Dental fillings can last for many years, but eventually, they will need to be replaced. This is why regular dental visits are important, as we can tell when an old filling is reaching the end of its lifespan. If you need a filling replaced, contact us at West Allen Dental today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Natchi.

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