Many adults develop at least one cavity during their lifetime, resulting in the need for a filling or crown to save the tooth. As you would expect, fillings fill the space left by a cavity while crowns cover the tooth to protect and strengthen it. Sometimes fillings and crowns fall out, so it’s important to know what to do if you lose a filling or crown, and when to see an emergency dentist.
Though a lost dental crown or filling isn’t usually an emergency, it can be. You could experience discomfort or pain due to a lost crown or dental filling, especially when exposing the affected tooth to temperature extremes or pressure.
It’s a good idea to contact your dentist as soon as possible for a same-day appointment. However, if you experience extreme pain or other difficulties due to the lost filling or crown, you may want to see a dentist sooner. For example, if you lost a filling or crown due to trauma it could affect your other teeth, and require an emergency dentist for evaluation and treatment.
Lost fillings and crowns can cause discomfort and pain and interfere with your daily routine, including eating and talking. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers to help manage lost filling pain. It’s also a good idea to contact your dentist, especially if you can try to replace the lost crown or filling to protect the open space.
If you lost or swallowed the filling or crown, you may be able to seal the space with a safe product, like dental cement or Vaseline. To be safe, check with your dentist before using any adhesives or sealing products at home.
In some cases, you may need an emergency dental crown to protect your tooth, especially if you experience extreme sensitivity in the affected tooth. It can also be problematic if the tooth is sharp or or jagged where the crown or filling fell out, especially if it was caused by trauma.
A temporary crown or filling could protect your tooth for a day or two, which is why it’s so important to contact an emergency dentist. They can advise you about what to do, including ways to create a DIY emergency dental filling to hold you over if you can’t get into a dentist immediately.
If your filling or crown falls out and you can’t get into a dentist right away you can’t stop eating to avoid discomfort. Even if you arrange an emergency tooth filling at home, it’s not going to be as stable and could pop out. Try to stick with soft foods and liquids and chew with the other side of your mouth.