November 4, 2021
If you lose or break a dental filling, the inside of the damaged tooth is left vulnerable to infection and further harm. Though this doesn’t usually warrant a visit to the emergency dentist, there are a few necessary precautions you should take to protect the tooth and prevent additional harm until you can see your dentist. If you recently lost a filling, follow these six steps to make sure your tooth isn’t harmed any further while you wait.
Step #1: Reach Out to Your Dentist
Contact your dentist and make an appointment to have the tooth repaired as soon as you can. If they won’t be able to fit you in for a while, ask them for recommendations on how to care for the tooth until then. If you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort, make sure to let them know as they may be able to see you any sooner. There are several ways to numb the pain in the meantime, including:
- Put clove oil or a whole clove on the exposed tooth and surrounding gums
- Use an ice pack or a cold compress for 15 minutes at a time
- Take an over-the-counter medicine
- Apply a topical numbing agent
Step #2: Keep the Filling
If you lose a dental filling, make sure to hold on to it and keep it somewhere safe until your dentist can see you. At your appointment, they’ll be able to determine if the filling can be reused or if a new one will need to be made.
Step #3: Gargle with Salt Water
Once you’ve reached out to your dentist and stored the filling somewhere safe, rinse your mouth out with warm water containing 1/2 a teaspoon of salt. This will cleanse the damaged tooth as well as kill bacteria that can cause additional damage.
Step #4: Chew with Caution
Until you can have the tooth repaired, chew on the other side of your mouth. This will lessen pain and help you avoid getting food stuck in the tooth.
Step #5: Use a Temporary Fix
Use a short-term fix such as dental wax, which will stick to the damaged tooth and create a smooth surface. You may also want to consider purchasing temporary filling material, which bonds to the enamel and has a natural, calming effect on aggravated tooth nerves.
Step #6: Brush Carefully
It’s important to continue cleaning the tooth that lost a filling as part of your normal oral health routine. Be gentle when brushing and flossing the damaged tooth to avoid further harm.
Though dental fillings can last an average of 15 years, accidents happen. If one of your dental fillings falls out, keep calm and follow the six steps listed above. Before you know it, your tooth will be as good as new!
About the Practice
Are you a resident of Avenel or one of the surrounding communities who recently lost or broke a dental filling? Keep calm and reach out to White Oak Dental & Orthodontics. They can examine the damage to the tooth and determine the best method to repair it so you can get back to enjoying a complete smile. Call their office at (732) 582-4224 or visit their website for more information on what to do if you lose a dental filling or to schedule an appointment.
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