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Treatment Options For A Fractured Tooth Filling

 In Ask Dr. Mark, Dental Fillings

What will you do if your filling falls out or cracks? A fractured tooth filling may even happen to you while you are eating — you could suddenly realize that there is a foreign object in your mouth.

Your first step is to call your dentist. They will be able to determine the right treatment to utilize at the dental office.

What to Expect During a Dental Consultation

Do not panic if your filling falls out. A seasoned Prescott, AZ dentistwould typically have an emergency time set aside for patients with lost or fractured fillings and other dental problems, so it is highly likely that you will be attended to on the day you call. And if you need care during the weekend, the dental office may have a contact to call to take care of emergency cases.

Once you are at the dental office, your dentist will examine your tooth. An X-ray may be necessary to determine the best treatment. If your teeth need another filling, you will be provided with information regarding your options for filling materials. There are also times when the affected tooth might need a crown or a root canal to restore the tooth’s integrity. Tooth extraction may also be advised on rare occasions.

Filling Options

If your tooth is restorable, the tooth’s location will determine the type of restoration. For a front tooth (canine or incisor), a composite and glass ionomer filling is the best aesthetic choice. For a premolar or molar, you can choose between a glass ionomer material and an amalgam filling. Since the back teeth experience the strongest chewing forces, the amalgam filling is considered the best material; this will last longer. Some dentists place tooth-colored restorations, depending on their patient’s preference.

Other Treatment Options

A crown can be the best option when there is an extensive loss of tooth. Your dentist can place a sedative filling or a temporary crown to protect the affected tooth. The permanent crown impression and placement will then happen at subsequent dental visits.

But when your filling falls out and a deep cavity is revealed or the nerve of the tooth is exposed, the best option is a root canal followed by placement of a dental crown.

If the loss of a filling or fractured tooth is severe, tooth extraction is your only option. When this happens, your dentist will provide you with a treatment plan to replace the tooth. You can choose between a dental implant and a removable or fixed bridge.

Prevention Tips

To detect a possible problem with your dental fillings, regular dental care is crucial. Your dentist can detect uneven wear or open margins before they become a problem. Your dentist can also give you tips for proper oral hygiene to prevent plaque buildup, which is the leading cause of tooth decay.

Bear in mind that fillings or restorations have a breaking point. Eventually, they will need replacement. Regular visits will determine if it is time to replace a restoration. But a filling might fall out unexpectedly, and you might experience discomfort and pain. When it happens, contact your dentist right away. If left untreated, a fractured or lost filling can lead to a root canal and possible tooth loss.

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