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Feeling your filling or crown come loose can be an unexpected and startling situation. Dental fillings and crowns can fall out for many different reasons, like chewing hard foods, or it could simply be because a long time has passed since you got it. Or even worse, it could be caused by tooth decay.
When your filling or crown falls out, there are steps that you need to take to protect your tooth. If it is left alone, debris from food can get caught in the holes in your teeth, causing bacteria to grow and accelerate the decay. Tooth decay leads to many other problems in your teeth and gums, and it will often lead to bad breath.
If your crown or filling has fallen out you must do everything in your power to care for your tooth as quickly as possible before it snowballs into a major dental problem.
The best way to deal with a filling or crown falling out is prevention. It’s best to visit your dentist regularly throughout the year so that they can help detect any problems with your fillings or crowns before they fall out. They will be able to see any wear and tear which can be an indicator of issues in the future.
Seeing your dentist also helps you to keep to a proper oral hygiene routine, and a full dental clean helps control the growth of bacterial plaque which causes tooth decay. Tooth decay that’s allowed to form around the sides of a filling can compromise restoration. Without regular dental care, you might not know what to do if your filling falls out or becomes loose.
Steps You Should Take If You Experience a Lost Filling or Crown
The first thing you should do is remove the filling or crown from your mouth so you don’t accidentally swallow it or breathe it in. Thankfully, if it does get swallowed it usually passes without any complications. However, the more dangerous risk is accidentally breathing in the filling, as it might become lodged in your windpipe or lungs which can be much more problematic. While this situation is rare, you should still try to prevent it from happening.
Once you remove the filling or crown, you should keep it safe and bring it with you to your dentist so they can assess whether it can still be used or if it needs to be replaced.
Your next step would be to call your dentist to book an appointment as soon as possible. They can sometimes schedule your visit immediately if they have time set aside for emergency dental appointments. But if you need to wait a few days, then you should take care of your tooth using the following steps:
Use Temporary Filling Materials to Replace the Crown or Protect Your Tooth
Until you can see a dentist, your main concern is protecting your tooth. If you lost a crown then you might be able to slip it back onto the tooth as a temporary solution. First, you would need to clean the inside of your crown, and then coat it with dental cement before holding it in place. Dental cement can be found at most drug stores and can simply be used to coat the tooth as a protection against bacteria.
Another option is to mould dental wax over the opening which can provide a temporary barrier. Many dentist offices can give you dental wax, as it is used with people who have braces and other procedures, but you can also find it at most drug stores.
Both of these solutions are meant to be temporary so you can seal and protect your tooth before you see your dental professional.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
Always practise good oral hygiene, but especially if you have an exposed interior of your tooth after a crown or filling has fallen out. Gently brush your affected tooth to remove food debris and you might want to rinse your mouth using warm salt water as an added precaution.
Help Dull Pain or Sensitivity
In some cases, when a crown or filling falls out, the nerves inside of your tooth can be exposed which can make eating and drinking quite painful. Your pain can range anywhere from a dull throbbing to a sharp sting, and getting fast relief can be crucial when you are waiting for your dental appointment.
One solution is to buy clove oil, which can be found in most drug stores, and apply it to your tooth using a cotton swab. This will help to numb your tooth and ease the pain. If pain continues or worsens, then you can take over-the-counter medications.
Avoid Certain Foods
If you are still worried about tooth sensitivity, you can also opt to avoid certain foods or only chew on the unaffected side. Some foods can cause further decay and even pain. These types of food include sweet food and drinks, hard foods, very hot or cold foods and acidic foods and drinks.
It’s important to stay mindful of your tooth’s condition and take care to prevent any further damage until you can see your dentist. This is especially important if your filling or crown has fallen out because of tooth decay. If this is your situation then your dentist could recommend a more intensive treatment plan such as removing the tooth or performing a procedure like a root canal.
Contact Our Emergency Dental Clinic in Toronto Today
If your filling or crown needs a replacement, or something more serious, you should always have a professional inspect your tooth to see if there are any signs of decay so they can treat it properly.
For more information about crowns and fillings contact Bloor West Smiles at 416-766-2853 or contact us here.