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What to Do if You Lose a Filling

Posted by Hyungsup Lee Feb 27, 2023

This is a thumbnail image of blog What to Do if You Lose a Filling

Fillings have long been one of the best tools in a dentist’s toolbelt for dealing with patients’ oral health problems. The materials have changed in recent years, but the core premise remains the same; within a single appointment, your dentist can fill a hole in your tooth, easing discomfort from cavities or tooth decay.

However, after a few years, it’s possible for a dental filling to come loose. If that happens to you, here are the steps you can take to ease discomfort from losing a filling, and potentially save your restoration.

Secure Your Filling

The first thing you can do is to ensure that you don’t bite or swallow your filling. As was hinted at earlier, it’s possible that your dentist could save your restoration if you keep it safe. If you’re having trouble fishing it out, you might try gently rinsing out your mouth and catching your filling in a small container.

Call Your Dentist

Once your filling is secure, you should call your dentist. They’ll be able to schedule an emergency appointment for you, often within the same day, where they can either replace your dental filling or put it back into position. They’ll also be happy to give you some instructions for what you can do to stay comfortable until they see you.

Stay Comfortable

Until you see your dentist, you should aim to stay as comfortable as possible. Take over-the-counter pain relievers as needed to ease a little bit of discomfort from the area of tooth decay. You should also take care not to chew with the side of your mouth that the filling came out of, and to keep it clean by making use of mouthwash.

Finally, you can try to plug the whole left by the loosened filling with a temporary filler. Many pharmacies sell products just for this occasion, but if you can’t find any, sugar-free gum can work just as well as a temporary fix. Of course, both of these really only work for a while, but they should be plenty to keep you comfortable until you can see your dentist.

About the Author

Dr. Russ Teasdale opened his dentist’s office in 1981, and since then he has come to work every day ready to offer the highest level of oral healthcare to his patients. He makes use of cutting-edge dental technology to ensure the quality of care he provides is as good as it can be. Dr. Teasdale received his DMD from Washington University in St. Louis.

If you have any questions about how to handle a lost dental filling, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (503) 966-2528.

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