tooth fillingWhile dental fillings are made to last a long time, your dental filling may occasionally become dislodged or fall out. When this happens, you must make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. 


Dental fillings cover holes left behind in your teeth after your dentist removes decayed enamel. If your filling falls out, that leaves a hole behind that bacteria will quickly fill in. Let’s look at what dental fillings are made of and how your dental team can fix a lost filling. 


What Materials Are Used in Dental Fillings? 

Dental fillings can be made from several substances. The two main categories of dental fillings are resin composites and metal amalgams. Resin composites are made up of resin and a mixture of glass or quartz filling that restores the structural integrity of your tooth. While you may feel nervous hearing these fillings use glass, there’s a significant difference between breaking a cup and having your tooth filled, so you don’t need to worry about loose glass in your mouth! 


Dental amalgams use a mix of different metals to restore your teeth. These metals include precious metals like gold but can also contain mercury, tin, silver, and copper. These latter metals are known as “silver fillings” and can be much more cost-effective than gold or tooth-colored fillings. Gold and other metals have been used in dentistry for countless years and are a safe, affordable way to repair dental decay. 


What Happens if My Filling Falls Out?

If your filling falls out, try not to panic. Instead, your first step should be to make an appointment with your dental team as soon as possible. While losing a filling will not cause immediate harm, it can cause dental damage over time, so be sure to talk to your dentist as soon as possible. To replace your filling, your dentist will clean the remaining hole in your tooth and add a new filling to the same space. Getting a replacement filling costs about the same as getting a new filling, though in some cases, such as switching materials, it can cost slightly more. 


How Can I Avoid Losing a Filling?

You can ensure your new filling stays where it’s supposed to be. First, make sure that you’re not grinding your teeth. If you’re worried about grinding your teeth, talk to your dental team about a mouth guard for night teeth grinding. You should also be careful around hard foods and avoid eating ice, as this can dislodge your filling and damage your teeth over time. You’ll also want to avoid eating sticky foods, which can pull your filling out. Finally, if your filling becomes sensitive or you have pain in the area, contact your dentist immediately, as this could signify further dental decay or damage.


If you’re looking to replace a filling or have other questions about dental care, call our office at (845) 434-1202. Here at South Fallsburg Dental, we work closely with our patients to ensure their dental health is in tip-top shape. So if you want to make an appointment, call our office today.