When you have tooth decay, you get a filling. How long this filling will last depends on maintenance and daily wear and tear. Eventually, the fillings need to be replaced. Sometimes, they fall. In this case, what you need to know…
What to Do If a Filling Drops?
The first thing you should do if your filling falls out is to call your dentist and let them know what has happened.
What to Expect at Your Dental Appointment?
Your dentist will examine and X-ray your tooth to determine the best option. Here are three options he might consider:
1.Can make a new filling
If your dentist thinks your tooth can be repaired, he or she may make another filling. There are different types of fillings. If it is molar or premolar, there may be choices of amalgam (silver) filling or composite and glass ionomer (tooth-coloured) material. For anterior teeth (incisors or canines), the best aesthetic choice is composite and glass ionomer filling. Since your back teeth do the most work (chewing a lot), your dentist may use amalgam fillings because it is a stronger material and will last longer. One thing to note is that many fillings are highly visible, so many dental professionals let their patients decide.
2.You may need a canal, crown or veneer.
If there is a deep cavity or exposure in the nerve of the tooth, your dentist will refer you to a specialist for the canal and crown.
3.You may need a tooth extraction
In rare cases, filling loss or broken tooth can be so severe that extraction is the only option. In such a case, your oral surgeon and dentist will offer a treatment plan to replace your tooth with a fixed or removable bridge or dental implant.
How Are Fillings Protected?
Many things can contribute to the crumbling or breaking of the filling. It can include tooth wear due to grinding or clenching, down to bacteria seeping into the edges of the fillings and causing decay, or simply because the filling is old and a new one is needed.
If left untreated, a lost or chipped filling can cause a root canal and possible tooth loss. Routine dental care appointments are important to help prevent your fillings from falling out. During these appointments, your dentist can uncover potential problems. It can detect open margins or uneven wear before you realize you have a problem. You will also learn proper oral hygiene guidelines to help control bacterial plaque, one of the leading causes of tooth decay.
If the filling falls off unexpectedly, contact your dentist for repair. No filling lasts forever. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with regular visits with your dentist. It will help determine when is the best time to be proactive and replace a restoration.