Almost everyone has fillings in their teeth. It is a common procedure for repairing damaged teeth, and it is quite simple. But what can you do if a tooth filling falls out? How common is it? Here, we will go through all the details you need to know about tooth fillings, their lifespan, and what to do if you notice that one of them is missing.
Is It Possible for a Filling To Become Loose?
Dental fillings are the most common solution for tooth decay. Once the dentist removes the affected part of the tooth, they will fill the hole with a material that will simulate the real tooth. But over time, the filling can fall out or become loose.
The important thing to mention here is that a tooth filling will wear out over the years. It isn’t something we expect to last forever. Based on the type of cavity filling, the entire experience can be rather painful. Since the material covers the affected tooth, removing it will leave the tooth exposed. It will be nearly impossible to eat without pain.
Luckily, solving the problem does not require a complex procedure, and your dentist will be able to solve it in no time.
What to Do if the Filling Falls Out?
In the majority of cases, the filling won’t become loose. Instead, it will completely fall out. If this happens, it is always a good idea to save the filling. However, in the majority of cases, the dentist will need to adjust the tooth, which usually means that the new filling won’t be able to fit.
If it is possible to reuse the old filling, the only thing that the dentist needs to do is remove the dental cement from the tooth and place the filling back in its place. The first thing to remember if the filling falls out is not to panic. The procedure is quite simple, and it will be finished in a couple of minutes. While the filling is out, try to avoid chewing on that side and focus on eating softer food.
For those that experience tooth pain, the only thing you can do is use pain killers. Of course, it is not always possible to get treatment as soon as it happens. If the filling fell out, a temporary fix is still a good solution. It will allow you to eat normally and wait for the appointment without worries.
How Long Do Fillings Last?
One of the things people often forget is that fillings can’t last forever. You need to replace them at one point. But the question is, how long do they last? It mostly depends on the filling materials used to fill the tooth. The most common type of filling is made from a mixture of metals, which means that they will last significantly longer compared to other options. An average lifespan of a metal filling is around fifteen years, but the time can vary based on several factors.
For example, someone who grinds their teeth will wear out the filling a lot faster. It will also affect the surrounding teeth, as well as the gums. So, they might be in need of a replacement a lot sooner.
Other materials used are made from glass and plastic, and they are tooth-colored fillings. Since this combination is a lot less durable, you can expect them to last around ten or twelve years. Composite fillings can crack or get damaged by pressure while chewing, and discoloration is quite common as well. This is also one of the reasons why people will get them replaced. Over time, the color of the filling will stop matching the tooth, and getting a new one will solve the problem.
Any Way to Prevent It?
Now that we’ve covered all the important bits, let’s see if there is a way to prevent the problems we mentioned from happening. As we mentioned before, fillings are not indestructible. They will require replacement at one point. But what you can do is prolong the time. Improving your dental care and oral hygiene is the simplest way to reduce the chances of your filling sustaining damage or becoming loose.
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, regularly replace your toothbrush, brush your tongue, and work on improving your oral hygiene. Most importantly, you should regularly visit your dentist. Even if you are not in pain and everything seems perfectly fine, visiting a dentist is still recommended. They will be able to confirm that everything is well, and even if it wasn’t, solving the problem will be significantly easier.
When to See a Dentist?
Besides regular visits and checkups, you call your dentist as soon as you notice that there is a problem. So, for all of you wondering what to do if a filling falls out, the answer is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. They will be able to tell you all the details about the procedure, what to do, and how to improve the situation.
Since it is not recommended to continue using the tooth without the filling, you will need to address the problem as soon as it happens. Without the protective filling, the inner part of the tooth will remain exposed, and it will be easier for it to deteriorate even further. Of course, many people are facing dental anxiety, and it is not easy for them to make this step. But keep in mind that the situation won’t get better with time if you just leave it like that. And the sooner you visit your dentist, the easier it will be to fix the problem.