What to Do When You Break Your Filling
Did you just break a filling? How long can you wait?
It’s not the end of the world. And you don’t need to go to the emergency room — though you do need to see an emergency dentist, even if your filling fell out but you’re feeling no pain. Instead, keep calm and call your dentist as soon as possible.
It’s never a good feeling. You’re enjoying a meal when you hear a crack and there’s suddenly something in your mouth that’s not food. You’ve cracked a filling. Your first thought is to panic. Don’t panic, call us instead. We can help.
An Ounce of Prevention
Cracked fillings seem to suddenly happen, but most likely the problem with your filling has been developing for months. And it can easily be spotted with regular dentist appointments. That’s why we recommend visiting our Cincinnati dental clinic every six months. We can sometimes spot a broken filling before it happens.
If you break or crack a filling, most dentists can get you in fairly quickly for an emergency dental appointment. You’ll probably have an oral X-ray, which will help the dentist decide on the best treatment approach. Your dentist might restore the tooth with a new filling. He or she may recommend a root canal, as well as a cap or crown if the damage is severe. In extreme occasions, the tooth may need to be extracted.
Usually, the placement of the tooth where you’ve cracked the filling determines the level of restoration. Molars or premolars usually use amalgam (silver) filling or composite and glass ionomer (tooth-colored) materials. This is ideal because back teeth do the strongest chewing and the silver filling is more durable and lasts longer. Front teeth generally require a composite and glass ionomer filling because they are so noticeable when you smile. Most dentists will ultimately let you choose.
In the Meantime
If your tooth hurts, apply a little clove oil with a Q-Tip. This will help dull the pain. You can buy clove oil in most pharmacies as well as the spice aisle of the grocery store.
You might also consider buying over the counter dental cement to cover the tooth surface. This will help protect and seal the tooth until you can get in to see your dentist.
But if your filling fell out and you feel no pain, you should still see an emergency dentist. Your tooth is exposed. We need to take care of it as soon as possible.
Yes, We’re Accepting New Patients, Even If We’ve Never Seen You Before
So you have a dental emergency but no regular dentist? Don’t worry. We’re happy to see you and we’ll get you in right away, even if this is the first time in our Cincinnati office. In fact, your first appointment can be for a dental emergency. Beckham Square Family Dental is the combined practices of Dr. Andrea Schmerler & Dr. Scott Malavich. We are accepting new patients, whether you need regular checkups for your family or your tooth just lost a battle to a hoagie sandwich. It happens.
Still, we have to ask. Why haven’t you seen us before? We don’t bite. In fact, we’re super friendly. We’re here for you. We believe in preventative dentistry, which means we do everything we can to avoid dental emergencies. No we’re not trying to pay a guilt trip — just asking you to not forget about us. Because dental problems don’t go away — they usually come back with a vengeance. But you’re in good hands. We’ve got this. We’ll have you patched up and smiling beautifully again.