Dental fillings are designed to last for years, but that doesn't mean that they're impervious to damage. Long-term damage and sudden damage can both cause a filling to crack, fall out, or otherwise break. If you think one of your fillings is missing or you know that it has come out, you need to take steps to protect your tooth. Read on to learn how to do this.
The biggest problem when you're missing a filling or part of a filling is that the interior parts of your tooth become vulnerable. Other than making it easier for you to eat, the whole reason for fillings is to help protect the tooth. While the external enamel does this all on its own on whole, intact teeth, drilled, cracked, or broken teeth don't have a full layer of enamel protecting them. Whatever part of your tooth is exposed is now susceptible to germs, bacteria, and decay. In addition, you may experience some pain or discomfort if the nerves in your tooth are exposed to cold or hot food. Protecting your tooth as soon as possible can mean the difference in your level of pain and need for further dental procedures.
The first thing you should do when a filling cracks is to gently clean the tooth. This is because more particles of filling may still be in your tooth and could come out at any time. Since you don't want to swallow and accidentally eat your fillings, it's a good idea to get them out.
You can clean your teeth by rinsing, very gently and lightly brushing the surface with your toothbrush, or by using a water flosser on the lowest and gentlest setting. Don't do anything that hurts. If you're experiencing pain while trying to clean the tooth, simply rinse it and continue to the next step.
Professional-grade dental sealant is what dentists use to fix dental problems, but there are some consumer-level varieties you can purchase yourself. Buying dental sealant from the store will allow you to put a protective seal around the opened part of your tooth. It can also help to hold broken shards of filling in place until you're able to get to your dentist's office.
To use the sealant, make sure to follow the directions on the box carefully. Some sealants dry on their own, while others use a special light to harden. If you're not sure you're doing it right, don't be afraid to call your dentist and ask for tips.
Once your tooth is protected, immediately make an appointment to see your dentist. Your tooth will be protected until you can get in, but it isn't a permanent fix. After performing these steps, visit your dental clinic for a replacement filling.Share