Dental fillings help restore damaged teeth and prevent further decay.
However, although they are quite durable, dental fillings do not last forever. Chipping, breaking or completely losing a dental filling can happen when you least expect it: while you’re eating, while you’re asleep at night, even while you are talking with a friend or coworker. If a dental filling falls out, do you know what to do next? An emergency dentist in Southfield is here to guide your next step.
Why Do Fillings Break?
Despite continual advancements in modern dentistry, every restoration or filling has a breaking point and will eventually fail and need to be replaced.
According to the American Dental Association, a filling can become chipped or broken due to a variety of factors, such as:
- Wear and tear from grinding or clenching.
- Decay from bacteria that has leaked into the margins of the filling.
- The filling has simply reached its expected lifetime duration and needs replacement.
In an ideal scenario, regular visits to the dentist will help determine when to best replace a restoration before it reaches the end of its lifespan. However, fillings can, of course, fall out unexpectedly and cause serious pain and discomfort.
When You Should Call an Emergency Dentist
While having a filling fall out is cause for concern, it should not be cause for panic. Instead, your immediate reaction should be to pick up the phone and call an emergency dentist in Southfield. Even if your filling falls out during the evening or on a weekend, it is important to avoid waiting and contact a dentist as soon as possible. Most likely, they will be able to schedule you an emergency appointment during the very same day.
Once at the dental office, an X-ray of your teeth with be taken for the dentist to examine. Once the dentist has inspected both your tooth and the X-ray, he or she will have a discussion with you about recommended treatment options and next steps.
What are the Treatment Options?
The best treatment option in case of a broken filling will depend on the state of your tooth:
- If the tooth can be restored, your dentist will recommend either a new amalgam (silver) or tooth-colored composite filling.
- A cap or crown is the best option if there is extensive enamel loss.
- In rare cases, a filling will fall out to reveal a deep cavity. Unfortunately, when this happens, the only option is a root canal followed by placement of a crown.
- In extremely rare situations, the loss of a filling may be so severe that the only option is to remove the tooth. A dental implant or bridge can later fill the gap.
So, what do you do if your filling falls out? Do not panic! Save yourself prolonged discomfort by picking up the phone and calling a dentist in Southfield right away.
About the Author
A graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon delivers comprehensive dental care to patients of all ages in the Southfield area. Dental emergencies can happen outside the normal 9 to 5 workday, which is why Dr. Solomon and the experienced staff at Signature Smiles maintain evening and weekend hours as well. For more information on what do in case of a dental emergency, visit the Signature Smiles website or call Dr. Solomon at the office at 248-557-5756.