It’s the weekend and you can’t find an emergency dentist in Gorham, Portland, or the surrounding areas and your tooth has cracked or part of it has chipped away. Now what do you do?
In Case of a Lost Filling, here’s what we’d do:
First, avoid chewing on that side. A broken tooth is a weakened tooth. Using it more equals breaking more making the problem worse. If it’s cutting your gum or tongue you can get some wax or some temporary filling material from the drug store. If you can find some, orthodontic is easy to use and effective short term.
A word of caution, in a few instances if you have a very large cavity, plugging the hole can give you a toothache. Your tooth may be naturally releasing pressure through the top of it where the hole is. This would usually be a tooth that has had a problem brewing for a long time and has hurt before. If you find this is happening simply removing the plug should alleviate it.
Common causes of lost fillings:
- Previous large filling that is old and has broken or part of the tooth holding the filling has broken
- Decay under and around a previous filling
- Grinding or clenching teeth
- Chewing on something that is beyond the strength of the tooth or filling. For example popcorn kernels, ice, or olive pit.
The reason teeth get to this condition:
Teeth that are more than 50% filling are significantly more susceptible to fracture. These are teeth that we will recommend protective or strengthening restorations for to return them to original strength
Long periods of time without seeing a dentist for an exam and x-rays can allow minor problems to become catastrophes later and can lead to emergency dentistry. Obviously, waiting until a filling comes out or a tooth starts to hurt, is not a good strategy for keeping your dental health or for your keeping costs to a minimum. Don’t worry if you are afraid of the dentist, or dental tools, Morgan Dental Care has a trained sedation dentist to keep your comfortable and without pain during any dental procedure. Ask us about our sedation dentistry.
Sometimes a decision is made to save money that leaves a tooth at risk. The most common example is when a chewing tooth needs a crown for strength, but a filling is chosen because it is less expensive. In time, the filling may fail and the situation will almost always be worse than it was when the crown was first recommended.
While economics often dictate what can be done (and we certainly understand that), it is important to understand the risks of the choice you make and not to conclude later that the lost or broken filling is due to a poor job. At the same time, the choice to do something to save the tooth, even if it isn’t the ideal treatment, is preferable to losing a functioning tooth. If ideal treatment cannot be done when it is recommended, the best alternative is to consider it postponed, then have the lesser treatment done to get by for a time, then have the more ideal procedure done before the catastrophe occurs.
If you have a dental emergency in Portland, or the Gorham area, contact us at (207) 839-2655 today for the earliest available time.