Cracked Filling? Convenient Hours, Flexible Care for Dental Emergencies

chipped cracked toothCrack a filling? That’s never a good feeling. But fillings do crack — they aren’t designed to last forever. When you do crack a filling, don’t panic! Call your dentist right away. We have appointments set aside for just such emergencies.

Cracked fillings are a natural result of the wear and tear we put on our teeth simply by using them. Certain foods can be hard on teeth and fillings. Chewing on ice is a common way to break a filling. Hard candies, potato chips, and dried fruit can also break fillings, as can grinding your teeth at night or clenching your jaw too often. Fillings are great, but they’re not as strong as your natural teeth.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of time. Fillings will weaken the longer they are in place. That’s why you should get regular dental care from your family dentist. You should be going to see them every six months, no excuses. In addition to looking for cavities, your dentist will also inspect your fillings for any holes. We do a complete inspection of your smile to ensure everything is in top shape, and we update your x-rays every year so your dentist knows what’s going on with your smile inside and out.

Never Ignore a Cracked Filling. Call Us.

A broken filling isn’t the end of the world, but it’s not something to ignore either. Any crack allows bacteria to contaminate the tooth, leading to further tooth decay. This can even weaken the root. It can also create an infection that if prolonged can spread to other parts of your body. Just because it might not hurt doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call to get in for an emergency dental appointment. These things are best taken care of sooner rather than later.

Once a filling has cracked, the dentist will first check to see if it can be repaired. Often, you’ll need to completely replace the filling, which is a simple, painless and quick process.

If an infection has spread to the root, you may need a root canal to clean out the decay. A dental crown may be necessary following the root canal, depending on the extent of the damage to the tooth.

Experiencing Dental Pain? What to Do in the Meantime

If you are experiencing dental pain and can’t get in immediately for a dental emergency, there are several remedies you can do at home:

  • Over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen or Tylenol. For children, use acetaminophen or Children’s Tylenol. If you use aspirin, swallow it whole. Don’t put it on the tooth or gums.
  • Rinse with a warm salt water mixture, about 1/2 teaspoon table salt to 8 ounces of water. Rinse for 30 seconds and spit it out. Don’t swallow it.
  • Apply an ice compress to the side of your mouth that has pain for about 7 minutes or until the area becomes numb. Ice naturally numbs the brain’s signals to pain.
  • Place two drops of clove oil on a cotton ball and place against the tooth. You can get clove oil in most drug stores and even in the herb section of the grocery store. Cloves contain a chemical compound known as eugenol, a natural anesthetic. You could also use a bit of powdered cloves or chew on a whole clove to release the oil. Just don’t pour a large amount of oil in your mouth as you can actually cause more pain by irritating the gums and damaged areas of the tooth.

It might take a few hours for us to squeeze you in, so in the meantime, take care of your broken filling and yourself.

Our Approach to Repairing Cracked or Broken Fillings

When you come in for an emergency dentist appointment, there are a number of things we can do to fix a cracked or missing filling. If the tooth is structurally sound and decay is not too bad, we’ll redrill the filling and replace it. Sometimes the tooth is so decayed we might opt for a crown to fully protect and cover the tooth. In rare cases, if the missing filling is ignored for too long before seeing your family dentist, the tooth itself may crack. This can call for dental veneers, or in extreme cases, like if there is not enough stable tooth left to attach a crown, we may have to extract the tooth and opt for an implant crown, which is an artificial tooth that is drilled into your jawbone and functionally acts like a regular tooth.

Scheduling an Appointment is Easy

If you do have a cracked filling, don’t panic, but call your dentist immediately. Feel free to fill out our contact form. We are a family dental practice located just North of Cincinnati with convenient morning and evening hours. In most cases, we can schedule same-day or same-week appointments. We’re here for you. We feature a comfortable office and provide gentle family dentistry to the communities of Blue Ash, Sharonville, Evendale, Springdale & the surrounding areas!