A guide to lost fillings and crowns
Every day, pressure is placed on teeth and gums when food and drink are consumed, which can make losing a filling or crown very easy. The mouth is faced with a number of different types of foodstuff on a regular basis, despite the lack of a material or filling that is guaranteed to last for a lifetime.
The majority of people who have had a filling or crown fitted in the mouth are likely to lose the item at some point, whether they are eating a toffee or experience dental trauma. These fragile materials can break if individuals chew or bite down on hard materials.
In these cases, fillings often break and come apart, while the cement holding the crown in place can become loose.
What is a filling?
Having a filling is one of the most common procedures carried out by dental professionals to fill cavities that have formed in the teeth. While this does not usually necessitate immediate action to be taken, the issue can worsen if left for a long period of time and potentially lead to decay.
The filling itself is the material used by a dentist to fill the hole in the tooth, which is often caused by early signs of decay and can ultimately lead to an infection inside the tooth if left untreated.
In recent years, dental professionals have developed fillings made from a number of different materials, with the most common types produced using an amalgam of metals that can be unattractive. For this reason, modern clinics usually give patients a choice about the type of material used and can fit tooth-coloured fillings to allow them to maintain a dazzling smile.
What is a crown?
Individuals who have suffered the loss of a tooth due to a sporting injury or oral health issue may require a crown to fill any gaps in their smile. In these cases, cavities may have been left unnoticed and the tooth has subsequently decayed to the point where it is not possible to fill the space.
In some cases, when a tooth is damaged by decay it can split or fracture. When this occurs, it is not possible for an emergency dentist to treat the problem with a filling, with reinforcement for the overall structure of the tooth required.
Crowns are cemented over the tooth to support the weakened structure and provide a new bite surface, which can only be fitted if the root of the tooth remains strong. This procedure is commonly carried out after a patient has undergone root canal treatment, where the root of the pearly white is embedded in the jaw, but the crown is no longer supported by vitamins and nutrients from the blood stream.
Is losing a filling or crown painful?
The majority of people who lose a filling or crown will not notice the object is missing. It can be slightly daunting for those who feel the fixture has become loose in their mouth, while it often feels sensitive to hot and cold when the cavity of the tooth is exposed.
Although a missing filling or crown may not feel painful to begin with, it can start to hurt after a short period of time as food or other debris gathers in the cavity. If this problem is left untreated, decay and infection may cause the tooth to ache. For this reason, individuals who have recently experienced this should see an emergency dentist.
What course of action should be taken?
Individuals who feel their crown or filling has come loose in their mouth should ensure they do not swallow it. The fixture should be placed in a safe place and taken to a dental appointment as it may be possible for a dental professional to simply replace it.
Using antiseptic mouthwash if a filling or crown has fallen out is an effective way of making sure the area remains clean until treatment can be sought, while some people may have the use of a temporary dental kit that is available from a range of pharmacies.
What will the dentist do?
Replacing a filling is a relatively simple procedure for a dental professional to carry out, with the practitioner initially clearing any debris from the cavity and check to ensure further decay has not set in.
How can I prevent losing a filling or crown?
While dentists expect treatments such as fillings and crowns to last around ten years, this depends on the types of materials used to create the fixture, as well as the quality of the substance used to manufacture the implement.
It is vital for patients to give their fitting or crown time to strengthen and the cement to harden, with many dentists recommending that brushing is avoided for the first 24 hours, or that the teeth are cleaned extremely lightly.
A dental professional will also recommend that certain foods and drinks are consumed for a certain period of time, including items such as soft chewy sweets and crunchy items. However, there is no definitive list of things patients should or should not eat.
Individuals who have recently had a filling or crown may find it extremely beneficial to attend their next check-up sooner than predicted in order to ensure the installation is accurately fitted, no pain or discomfort is experienced and the healing process is progressing well.
The practice is open Seven days a week from 8am to 11pm for routine dentistry and we offer a 24 hour emergency dental walk-in service 365 days a year. You can book a consultation at any time by calling our reception team 24 hours a day on 0208 547 9997 or contact us during our working hours by email.