Did you lose a filling? Take a look at what you need to know about this common issue, the causes, the symptoms, and how a family dentist can help.
Why Would A Filling Fall Out?
Even though dental fillings are long-lasting and highly durable restorations, they aren't perfect. Some factors can increase the risk of a filling loss. These include new areas of decay in the tooth (surrounding the filling), the types of foods you eat (sticky, crunchy, and hard foods can damage the tooth or pull a filling out), the way you chew, tooth-grinding behaviors, some types of chemical reactions, and injury/trauma.
What Are the Symptoms To Watch Out For?
The most obvious way to tell that you've lost a filling is the restoration material itself. Fillings are made from different types of materials, including amalgam (silver mixed with other metals), gold, porcelain, or tooth-colored composite resin. Silver amalgam and gold fillings are shiny and like the metals they are made from. Porcelain and composite resin fillings look like part of the natural tooth.
Other symptoms of a lost filling are sudden pain or sensitivity in the tooth (especially if you eat/drink cold or hot items), or a noticeable hole or crack. Food particles may also get stuck in the hole that the filling leaves behind.
Some people won't have noticeable symptoms of a loose or lost filling. This makes it important to go to the family dentist's office for regular visits. The dentist can examine your mouth and check each of your fillings for signs of wear or damage.
How Can A Family Dentist Repair A Lost Filling?
The dentist will do more than just check for lost fillings. If you have symptoms of a filling loss or the dentist finds a missing restoration during a routine office visit, they will need to replace the missing material. Dental fillings do more than just cover cracks and holes in your teeth. This type of restorative treatment is required to repair a decayed area of a tooth.
Cavities aren't reversible. If you have an area of decay then it could grow and spread, eventually leading to a more serious infection or destroying the tooth. To prevent further damage or loss, the dentist will need to remove (drill) the cavity or decayed area and replace it with a restoration. The filling takes the place of the natural tooth and protects it from future damage.
After a filling falls out, the dentist will clean the area and replace the restoration with a new one. If the first filling was silver amalgam or gold and you want a more natural look, talk to the dentist about compost resin replacement options.
Contact a local dental service, such as Westnedge Family Dentistry, to find out more.