Oops, There It Goes! What to Do If Your Filling Falls Out

person with their mouth open getting filling - filling falls out

Oops, There It Goes! What to Do If Your Filling Falls Out

Nothing lasts forever—not even the fillings in your teeth. Although they may seem like permanent restorations, all fillings will need to be replaced at some point. And if you ever lose a filling, it qualifies as a dental emergency. Here’s what to do if a filling falls out.

I Lost a Filling—How Long Can I Wait?

If you lost a filling, do not wait to make a dentist appointment! Waiting too long to replace a lost filling is one sure-fire way to invite more damage. 

Fillings protect your teeth from decay, sensitivity, and infections. If you delay, the cavity that your filling was protecting will start to collect food particles and bacteria. This will quickly lead to infections that expose the inner structures of the tooth, causing serious problems as well as considerable pain. 

Call Your Dentist Right Away

Even if you don’t feel any pain, losing a filling is considered an urgent dental matter. Although you can wait until your dentist’s office opens, you should call for an appointment as soon as possible. Your dentist should be able to see you within the next couple of days. If you are in pain, they may be able to see you the same day.

How Did My Filling Fall Out? 

Fillings can gradually become loose or get pulled out suddenly by chewing on something sticky. In fact, there are many reasons you could lose a filling. Common causes of filling loss include: 

  • Biting into hard or gummy foods
  • Forceful chewing
  • Grinding your teeth 
  • Trauma to the tooth or its root
  • New decay around the filling
  • Failure of the bonding agent 


What to Do If a Filling Falls Out

  1. Call your dentist as soon as the filling comes out, and make an urgent appointment. Let them know if you are experiencing any pain.
  2. If you can, save the filling and bring it to your dentist. If it fell out due to a failure of the bonding agent, your dentist might be able to reuse the filling, which will save you money.
  3. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water. This is an important step, as it will help remove debris and kill germs near the damaged tooth, protecting your tooth from infections. 
  4. When brushing, be extra gentle with the damaged tooth, and avoid chewing on that side of your mouth.


Best Dental Care in Prescott, Arizona

If you notice a loose or missing filling, be sure to contact us right away! The team at Hicks Dental Group will repair your tooth and prevent any further damage. If your filling fell out, we can help—contact us today to make an urgent appointment, and we’ll have you smiling again in no time.




Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/29/23). Photo by Arvind Philomin.