It’s inevitable that a crisis happens on a holiday weekend. We often receive calls from patients that lose a filling during Thanksgiving dinner. This article will give you the steps you need to know in order to cope with this kind of after-hours dental problem.
First, Don’t Panic
The first step is to call Dr. Hadley and his team to determine the extent of the problem. It’s easy to panic, especially, if you bit down, heard a crunch, and then a big portion of filling popped into your hand. There may be pain or discomfort accompanying the incident, and you may be left with a sharp tooth.
The good news is we can repair the damage. If the filling was made of composite or silver you don’t really need to save it. However, if it was gold or a ceramic inlay, which would be more unusual, you should save it to see if we can cement it back onto the tooth.
The first thing to do, though, is trying not to swallow or breathe in the parts that broke off. If this happens, it will usually pass through your system with no problem. However, if you accidentally breathe it in, it could cause infection. This rarely happens, though.
Rinse your mouth with saltwater by using one cup of warm water and a teaspoon of salt. If the tooth isn’t causing you discomfort and the event happened on a long holiday weekend, you could continue the saltwater rinses until you can see the dentist.
If the tooth is uncomfortable, it’s likely that the dentin, which is the underlying part of the tooth with nerves. Over-the-counter remedies can help until you get to the dentist. Medications such as aspirin, Advil, or Tylenol can help.
But the number one thing you should do if you lose a filling is to call your dentist right away.
Second, Practice Oral Hygiene
It would be unusual that a dentist couldn’t see you quickly after a losing a filling. If the incident happened on a Saturday night, you may have to wait until Monday for treatment. While you’re waiting for your appointment, may sure you continue to practice good oral hygiene by:
- Gently brushing your teeth with a soft brush to remove food.
- Rinse with warm salt water to help disinfect the area.
- Your dentist may even prescribe a painkiller to help until the appointment. This would be unusual; most over-the-counter remedies should work just fine.
- If the dentin is exposed to the injured tooth, you may even want to block the nerve sensors by covering the tooth in a temporary filling material. We’ve heard of people using sugarless gum to cover the tooth and ease the sensitivity. But the local drug store actually has a temporary filling product that you can purchase over the counter.
Las Vegas Dentist – Prevention
Prevention is one of the best ways to keep track of cavities and fillings. Over time, fillings can become brittle or wear away. That’s partially why two dental checkups per year are highly recommended. A dentist can track how your teeth are wearing and can detect small cracks in the filling that can lead to problems later on. If you haven’t seen Dr. Hadley and his team lately – call us today for your preventative checkup!