Just what constitutes a dental emergency is open to debate. If you've broken a tooth, then you should clearly see an emergency dentist immediately. Noticed a cavity? Not quite an emergency, but you should still get it filled at your earliest possible convenience (although it can generally wait until regular business hours). But what about when you've had a cavity filled and the filling itself has become loose or even fallen out? This can be a dental emergency, but it depends on how uncomfortable it is.
An Uncomfortable Situation
Although a loose or lost filling is not an emergency in itself, the issue can result in discomfort or even pain. This varies significantly from person to person, and some people might not even be aware that their dental restoration has disappeared or become compromised. Other people might be all too aware of the fact.
A Great Deal of Sensitivity
In some instances, a loose or lost filling can create a great deal of sensitivity. This is usually because the dental pulp (the nerve inside your tooth) has been partially exposed. Depending on the extent of the deterioration that resulted in the need for a filling in the first place, the pulp chamber may have been breached. The scope of this breach and subsequent exposure of the dental pulp will determine how uncomfortable the situation is for you.
At the Dentist
When a loose or lost filling causes significant discomfort, then the issue does require emergency treatment, if only for the purpose of relieving your pain. The dentist will inspect the damage to ensure that the surrounding tissue has not become inflamed or even infected. The damage will be repaired, and pain relief will be offered as necessary.
While you should see an emergency dentist if your filling problem is causing distress, you must be careful not to aggravate your tooth until you see the dentist however brief the wait might be. Avoid consuming food and drink at extreme temperatures (anything that is too hot or too cold). You should chew using the unaffected side of your mouth, or you might wish to abstain from food and drink altogether until you see the dentist. If you should take any over-the-counter pain relief prior to your appointment, be sure to mention this to the dentist.
For some people, a loose or lost dental filling is not an emergency. Other people, however, might beg to differ. Reach out to an emergency dentist to learn more.
Hello, my name is Jack. I am now 79 years old. As you can imagine, my teeth have taken something of a battering over the years. I lost a couple of teeth in a bar fight, four more decayed and one had to be extracted when it became infected. After losing so many teeth, my dentist suggested that I have dentures fitted. I was worried about this but my dentist was really great. He helped explain the procedure and then did an excellent job. I love my new dentures and I wanted to start this blog to offer help to others.