What to do about a lost filling or crown? Contact an emergency dentist near me?
Even the best dental fillings and crowns eventually fall out or develop cracks and problems. When that happens, you may be anxious about what they indicate. In some cases, losing a filling or crown may happen because of natural reasons — dental fillings and crowns weaken after about 10 years, so it’s not alarming for them to fall out.
However, in other cases, you may lose a dental filling or crown because of underlying tooth decay or dental problems. In either case, you must contact an emergency dentist near me because your teeth are now vulnerable to bacterial infections. This article provides a step-by-step overview of what to do about a lost filling or crown.
Step 1: Remove the loose dental filling or crown and place it in an airtight container.
If your dental filling or crown loosens, you should extract it carefully to avoid accidentally swallowing it. Accidentally swallowing the dental filling or crown isn’t an issue because it easily passes through the system, but breathing it in might cause lung complications. As such, you must remove it and place it in an airtight container. If the crown isn’t severely damaged, the dentist may reattach it without needing a replacement.
Step 2: Contact a full-service dental office near me.
After removing the filling or crown, you must immediately contact a full-service dental office near me to schedule a last-minute appointment. If the dental clinic is open, you can get a last-minute emergency appointment with a dental specialist. However, if the dental clinic is closed, you may have to wait until an appropriate time because a lost filling or crown isn’t always considered a time-sensitive dental emergency.
Step 3: Protect the exposed or vulnerable tooth with a temporary filling material.
The primary reason to contact a dentist immediately is to protect the tooth because it’s now left open and vulnerable. If you can’t see the dentist immediately, you should take some steps to protect your weakened and vulnerable tooth from decay. If your dental crown is intact and whole, you can reattach it to your tooth temporarily.
However, before placing the dental crown, you must thoroughly clean its insides and apply some over-the-counter dental cement for adhesion. Alternatively, you can also get dental wax from your neighborhood drug stores to provide a barrier to your exposed tooth. These solutions are temporary, so you must schedule a dental visit at the earliest time possible.
Step 4: Keep the exposed tooth clean with optimal dental care.
You should always maintain optimal oral health, but you must be especially careful if you’ve lost a dental crown or filling. You must gently brush the affected tooth’s insides, remove all the food debris, and rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day to prevent bacterial accumulation and infection.
Step 5: Use over-the-counter pain medications for pain and discomfort.
Patients often suffer from pain and discomfort due to the tooth’s nerves being exposed to environmental factors and hot/cold temperatures after the crown/filling is removed. You can numb the sensation or dull the pain by applying store-bought clove oil or take over-the-counter pain medications.
Step 6: Avoid foods that put your vulnerable tooth at risk.
While your tooth is weak and vulnerable, you must chew all foods from the other side of the mouth to minimize bite stress or pressure. You should also avoid certain foods that increase your risk of a bacterial infection or dental damages, such as sweets, beverages, fizzy drinks, foods/beverages with extreme hot/cold temperatures, etc.
Step 7: Keep your tooth clean and your crown/filling safe until the appointment.
Basically, you must take all the steps necessary to ensure the overall safety of your weakened tooth and crown/filling until you have the dental clinic appointment.
What are common dental emergencies you can treat?
The loss of a dental crown or filling is a serious condition, but it doesn’t always qualify as a dental emergency because you can wait a few hours or days until treatment. Dental emergencies usually can’t wait at all — situations that may worsen with every minute. The most common dental emergency is a knocked-out tooth.
You may get your tooth knocked out due to accidents, sporting injuries, etc. When that happens, you must place your knocked-out tooth in an airtight container with saliva or milk and immediately take it to an emergency dentist. Besides a knocked-out tooth, you also need emergency dental services for a severely fractured tooth, dental abscesses, sudden and severe toothaches, bleeding gums, toothaches accompanied by fever, etc.
Is emergency dentistry covered by insurance?
Dental emergencies are often covered by insurance, but the exact details of the coverage depend from one situation to the next and from one insurance plan to the next. Most insurance plans cover a part of the treatment, but not all of it. You must also carry the dental insurance for at least 6-24 months (according to the terms of the insurance policy) before claiming the benefits.
How can I get an appointment when I am having a dental emergency?
If you have a dental emergency, please contact StudioSmiles for an immediate appointment. You can schedule an appointment online or call 646-470-1376. Our dental clinic is located at 41 Park Ave, Suite 1C, making it highly accessible.