Dental fillings are restoration pieces used for replacing natural tooth material lost due to decay. In general, these fillings are supposed to last for years before any replacement is required. However, when your teeth are under pressure each day because of constant grinding, chewing, and clenching, these actions may cause your fillings to wear or crack sooner than expected. Furthermore, broken fillings run the risk of developing even severe cases of tooth decay in the affected area afterward.
How to Know When You Have Broken Fillings
When you’re already aware of the warning signs, you can get to the dentist for an assessment without worsening your dental condition. Here are three common symptoms of broken fillings to look for:
|A sudden pain is experienced for a few seconds when you have something hot or cold in your mouth before it recedes. You may even find yourself avoiding using the affected side due to this when chewing food.
|You may feel a small and hard object in your mouth when biting down on something hard. Moreover, you might also hear a slight crack upon chewing food.
|Lastly, you can prominently feel the crack, indentation, or hole in the affected teeth when running your tongue over it.
What to Do Before Your Appointment
You can’t fix a broken filling on your own, so it’s essential to schedule an appointment with your dentist. However, you can use the following tips in the meantime:
|Use over-the-counter medication to reduce any pain.
|Apply cold compression to the affected area to minimize swelling.
|Use hot water and salt mixture to cleanse the area, preventing bacteria accumulation.
|Apply dental cement bought from a drug store to temporary cover the affected tooth surface, protecting it from bacteria.
What to Expect When Visiting Your Dentist
A proficient dental professional will examine and X-ray your broken fillings to determine an adequate treatment procedure. Here are the three main options that they might lean toward after making a diagnosis:
If your dental professional concludes that your broken fillings only need to be repaired, you’ll likely get a new filling like before. There can be a few options for filling materials, including amalgam or composite and glass ionomer filling. Your dentist may let you decide in some cases to pick one, considering that a few of the fillings can be highly visible.
On the contrary, your dentist may recommend getting a root canal and a crown when there’s a cavity or exposure to the affected tooth’s nerves.
Lastly, when broken fillings lead to severe situations like fractured teeth, the only option available to salvage the damage is tooth extraction.
At Janice K. Pliszczak, DDS, we make sure that our professional dental experts set aside time in their schedule for patients with emergencies like dislodged and broken fillings. To schedule an appointment with us or for any further questions, please feel free to contact us at (315) 800-5020.