Cupertino Dental Emergency – Lost Filling

One of the most frequently performed dental procedures is filling replacement. Many people will need at least one filling during their lifetime. Fillings may be comprised of several different materials including silver amalgam alloy, or white composite resin. Fillings replace missing tooth structure caused by fracture or decay. If there is no pain or decay present, a lost filling is not a serious dental emergency. All fillings may eventually need to be replaced, so normal usage may cause a filling to fail. A patient with a lost filling will want to schedule a dental emergency visit as soon as their schedule permits. Dr. Antonious can provide this service for Cupertino residents.

Fillings may fall out if the preparation site was contaminated by water or saliva during the placement of the original filling. Moisture may prevent the filling material from properly bonding to the tooth. Fillings may be lost if recurrent decay forms underneath the filling. They may also fall out while eating extremely hard or sticky foods. Grinding and clinching the teeth may dislodge an existing filling causing it to loosen and fall out. A dentist near Cupertino can make an occlusal guard for patients with this habit to prevent the damage caused by bruxism to their teeth and joints. Impressions will be taken so that a custom guard can be made to fit securely over the teeth.

It is not uncommon for patients to bring their lost filling with them to their dental emergency visit. The dentist will examine it, but will usually not reuse it. If the remaining tooth, nerve, and surrounding bone are in good condition, in many instances the filling can be quickly and easily replaced. The Cupertino area dentist will administer anesthetic if necessary to keep you comfortable during the procedure. The dentist will then prepare the tooth by removing any unstable remaining filling fragments and decay. A filling material will be selected and placed in the tooth. The finished filling will be polished and adjusted for a smooth finish and comfortable bite.

Although a lost filling may be a minor dental emergency, putting off treatment may cause further damage so we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. Sharp edges of the tooth may scrape and cut the tongue and cheek. Food may also become packed into the open space causing gum irritation and allowing bacteria to flourish and cause decay. Temperature sensitivity to hot and/or cold may also be experienced.

The tooth should be kept thoroughly clean. Continue to practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing the tooth three times a day to remove food particles and debris. If pain or sensitivity is present, a doctor may recommend pain medicine. Drug store temporary filling materials may do more harm than good, so before using them it is a good idea to read and follow all of the manufactures usage instructions.

It is a good routine to have dental cleanings and examinations twice a year. This will allow your Cupertino area dentist to monitor your existing fillings, detect any defects in the fillings early and recommend treatment before they fall out.