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Have a Busted Filling? How to Tell If It's a Dental Emergency

Generally speaking, dental emergencies are just what you picture them to be: facial bone trauma, uncontrolled bleeding, knocked-out teeth, and the like. But dental emergencies can also be more subtle. 

Those less obvious dental problems can actually be the most dangerous, as they can go undetected for months. 

So, you might not think it’s a big deal to lose something small like a dental filling, but we recommend you treat it as you would a more traumatic dental injury. 

At Rifkin Dental in Carmel and Yorktown Heights, New York, our dentists know that without the right information, it can be easy to ignore potentially serious oral health issues. In this blog, we take a closer look at what happens when you lose or damage a dental filling and help you take the first steps toward getting the help you need. 

What exactly is a dental filling?

As the name suggests, we use dental fillings to fill in holes in your teeth left behind by decay and damage. For that reason, they’re a crucial feature of cavity treatment. After we’ve removed the decayed portion of your tooth, we fill in the vacant area with a dental filling. We can also use fillings when repairing broken, cracked, and worn-down teeth. 

Before, fillings were primarily made from metals like amalgam and gold, but these days you have more options. In addition to traditional fillings, we offer composite resin fillings, which blend perfectly with your teeth. 

Can a dental filling come out?

Dental fillings are made to become permanent features of your teeth, and they’re built tough enough to withstand all the daily wear-and-tear you can throw at them — but they’re not invincible. 

It’s not uncommon for fillings to pop out, crack, or come loose, especially if you get hit in the mouth or put excessive stress on your teeth. 

Do I need to get emergency care for a busted dental filling?

Compared to a knocked-out tooth, busted dental fillings don’t seem like a big deal. However, many experience incredible pain when they lose a dental filling. Without the filling, your tooth root, where your nerve lives, is exposed to the elements, which can be uncomfortable, at the very least.

Even a tiny chip or crack in your filling can open the door to bacteria and other harmful substances that cause decay in the first place. 

So, you may not have to rush to our office the moment you notice something’s happened to your filling, but we don’t recommend you wait too long. Call our office as soon as possible and describe your situation. We leave room in our schedule to accommodate urgent dental needs. 

If you’ve lost a filling in addition to another dental injury and you’re experiencing pain, swelling, and/or bleeding, you have a dental emergency on your hands and should get help right away. 

What can I do about a damaged dental filling?

The only thing you can do for a damaged dental filling is make an emergency dentist appointment with our team. There’s no over-the-counter product or home remedy that can effectively replace or repair your dental filling. 

We carefully evaluate your teeth and gums and then get to work repairing damage, reapplying fillings, and performing any other procedures necessary to restore your oral health. 

If you think you need our team to take a look at your filling and possibly repair it, don’t hesitate to schedule an emergency appointment. Call our location most convenient to you or use our online booking tool to contact our friendly staff.

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