Whereas a loose dental filling is not a dental emergency like a tooth that has fallen out, the loose dental filling should be treated as soon as possible. Failure to tend to a loose filling can cause complications such as further damage to the teeth and exposure to harmful bacteria. Our team urges our patients to call immediately when a filling is loose or dislodged.
Steps to Follow after Noticing a Loose Dental Filling
A patient's first step will be to call our office immediately. If our team cannot schedule an appointment right away, our professionals can provide advice and resources to deal with the tooth and the filling until the appointment. Try to keep the filling, and bring the filling into our office, for we may be able to reuse or salvage it. Keep the affected tooth clean and free from food debris, but make efforts to be gentle with the tooth with the loose filling. When eating, do not use the affected tooth to chew. Purchase and apply dental wax to the affected tooth to protect it and the filling. Treat tooth-related pain with an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory.
Preventing Fillings from Becoming Loose
A good oral health routine – brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, flossing daily, and rinsing with a fluoridated mouthwash – is the best way to reduce the chances of fillings becoming loose. Biannual checkups are important for deep cleaning and to monitor the state of fillings. Patients who have bruxism should seek immediate treatment to stop the tooth grinding. Avoiding hard foods such as hard candy and ice reduce the risk of damaging a filling. Sticky foods can dislodge fillings, so replacing sticky foods with healthier alternatives will be better for fillings.