What to Do If You Lose a Filling

added on: August 20, 2014

i lost a fillingFrom eating something sticky to grinding your teeth, many things can cause your filling to become loose, crack, or even fall out. Although nobody ever wants to lose a filling, it’s a pretty easy fix, and there are even things you can do to help it before you get to my Chapel Hill dental office.


The best way to avoid dealing with a lost filling is to try your best to prevent it in the first place. While sometimes unavoidable, there are things that can cause your fillings to become loose, crack, or fall out include eating sticky or hard foods, grinding your teeth, or clenching. To avoid losing a filling, limit the amount of teeth-damaging foods you eat, and visit your Chapel Hill dentist if you clench or grind as you may be causing more damage than simply losing a filling.

The First Step

If you do lose a filling, the first thing you should do is call my dental office in Chapel Hill immediately. My team will get you scheduled in our earliest opening and we’ll bring you in for an exam. During the exam, we’ll talk about how you lost the filling and what the best options are for restoring your tooth. In some cases, we can place another filling. If the filling was large, we may need to consider another treatment option like a crown. Although a lost filling is not always a dental emergency, it’s still really important to call us as soon as you can. While you’re waiting for your visit, there are some things you can do on your own to help.

What You Can Do

After you’ve called to schedule your appointment, it’s important to keep your tooth as clean as possible. A tooth with a lost filling can trap food deep in the grooves and can cause bacteria to build up. After eating, gently brush the tooth where the filling used to be and even swish with some warm salt water. If you have some pain or sensitivity, the pulp of your tooth is most likely exposed. You can help decrease discomfort by taking a pain reliever or by filling the space with a temporary filling material that contains zinc oxide. These fillers are typically found in most pharmacies. If you do choose to fill the space with an over-the-counter filling material, remember that it is a temporary solution and you should still keep your appointment.

If you’ve lost a filling, don’t hesitate to call my Chapel Hill dental office as soon as possible. We’ll talk about the best options for you and get you back to smiling in no time.

Serving patients in Chapel Hill, Durham, and Pittsboro.

Posted In: General