Is a broken filling a dental emergency?

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A cracked or broken tooth filling is never fun. When a dental filling pops out or breaks, it is often not considered a dental emergency. It is still imperative to get to a dentist as soon as possible as tooth decay underneath the filling can spread or worsen, leading to an infection. However, if in severe pain, you may be dealing with a dental emergency.

Damaged teeth or dental issues that go unresolved can negatively impact a person's overall oral health. At Byers Station Dental, our professional dentists can help resolve your pain and discomfort from a cracked or lost tooth filling at our premier dental center in Chester Springs, PA. Read on to learn more about when you should seek urgent dental care for a broken tooth filling and why.

What is a dental emergency?

Generally speaking, a dental emergency can be classified as any situation that involves facial bone trauma, uncontrollable bleeding, and more. Urgent dental care needs are exactly what they sound like; they are urgent. Here are some common dental emergencies:

  • Abscessed tooth
  • A fractured jawline or injury to the gumline
  • Fully or partially dislodged tooth
  • Lost or broken filling

What is a tooth filling?

Dental fillings are used to replace tooth material lost to decay. To treat a cavity, our dentists will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then "fill" the area with a dental filling. Fillings can also be used to repair broken or cracked teeth, even teeth that have been worn down by grinding or nail-biting. Today, several dental filling materials are available. Depending on the tooth decay's extent or location, teeth can be filled with silver amalgam, gold, porcelain, or tooth-colored composite resin. After our dentist removes the decay and cleans the area, the dental filling material can be applied. When the multi-layering process is complete, our dentists will trim off any excess material and polish the final restoration.

I have a broken tooth filling. Is it a dental emergency?

Dental fillings are incredibly strong and meant to be permanent, but life happens. It is not uncommon for one to pop, crack, or fall out due to wear and tear. Day after day, dental fillings get quite a workout as you eat, drink, grind, or clench your teeth. All this activity can cause a broken tooth filling. If you are dealing with this common dental issue, you should seek help as soon as possible. If you don't, it could lead to more problems. But, is it a dental emergency? In general, immediate treatment is needed to stop bleeding, save a tooth, or alleviate severe pain.

Whether or not you are experiencing any of these symptoms from a broken tooth filling, it essential to make an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible. The same bacteria that caused your tooth decay can fill the gap left by a chipped or cracked filling, leading to further deterioration in your tooth if not treated. There is no way to fix a broken dental filling on your own. However, you can do a few things at home to minimize any pain and discomfort before seeking professional help, such as over-the-counter pain medication, salt and hot water rinses, cold compresses, or a temporary dental filling that can be found at your local pharmacy.

At Byers Station Dental in Chester Springs, PA, our dental professionals leave time in their schedule for dental emergencies for dislodged or broken fillings. Even if our office is closed, listen carefully to our instructions to determine what to do for urgent dental care. If you have a dental concern or broken tooth filling, contact our team at Byers Station Dental for help.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.