It can be scary to bite down into a sandwich or chew on a handful of nuts and suddenly find a piece of tooth in your hand.
At least, you think it’s part of your tooth.
Broken Tooth or Filling?
Most of today’s fillings are made from a composite resin material dyed to match the natural color of teeth. If a piece of a tooth colored filling breaks off from your tooth, it can be difficult to tell whether it’s a filling or a piece of your enamel.
It’s even possible for a piece of tooth and filling to break off at the same time.
You may be able to figure out the difference between a broken filling and a chipped tooth depending on how much it hurts. If a filling breaks or falls apart entirely, your tooth may be a bit sensitive, at worst.
On the other hand, a small chip in your tooth doesn’t usually hurt. If the damage is large enough, however, it may hurt a lot.
How to Treat a Broken Tooth or Filling
Rinse your mouth out with warm water to get rid of debris. You won’t be able to put a broken filling back on your tooth, but if it’s enamel it may be possible to bond it back in place. But you should try to hold onto it to show your dentist, storing it in a sealed container of saline or milk. If you’re positive it’s a piece of your tooth, get to the dentist within the next hour.
If your tooth hurts, take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Fill an empty hole in your tooth with a temporary dental cement (available over the counter.) Or, if there are sharp edges, you can cover them with a piece of sugar-free gum to protect your cheeks and tongue.
Call your dentist for an emergency appointment to get your tooth examined right away.
Posted on behalf of:
1646 W U.S. 50
O’Fallon, IL 62269
Whether composite or amalgam, all fillings will need to be replaced, sooner or later. Some patients willingly choose to swap out metal restorations for the more aesthetic white ones. It’s actually much better to proactively replace a restoration rather than to wait until it causes you pain.
Watch out for these tell-tale signs that your current dental filling is nearly done for:
Staining is very common around old metal fillings. It may or may not hide the start of a cavity, so you should get it checked out. Even if there’s no decay yet, the discoloration may make you self-conscious about showing your teeth off in a smile.
Can you see any dark lines in the tooth around the filling?
Small fracture lines are the result of cumulative years of stress on the tooth and filling. Some fractures are too small to cause problems, but others are a sign that your tooth needs a new support.
Sensitivity usually comes and goes. But if it shows up suddenly in a spot where you have a filling, it could indicate the presence of a small fracture or cavity you can’t yet see.
You can’t leave open pieces of your tooth exposed or else they could develop more decay. If your filling has partially or completely come out, then it definitely needs to be replaced.
If you’ve noticed that a particular old filling is looking a bit worn, should you get it filled or not? Put your mind at ease with a professional evaluation. Call your dentist to schedule a checkup.
Posted on behalf of:
Huebner Smiles Dentistry and Orthodontics
12055 Vance Jackson Rd #103
San Antonio, TX 78230
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