How to Protect Your Teeth

What To Do If You Break A Tooth Filling

If you have broken fillings, you may be wondering what you should do next. Here are some steps that will help you fix your fillings ASAP, lessen any pain, and prevent future incidents.

Call Your Dentist 

There are many dentists who accept emergency patients at odd hours, so you may be able to get in to see your dentist sooner rather than later. However, you need to call the office ahead of time--or have someone call for you--so that the dentist understands the situation and can plan accordingly before you arrive. Your dentist may decide that your filling can actually wait. If that's the case, he or she may tell you to purchase some orthodontic wax at a pharmacy to cover the area until you can come in. If your broken filling is a true emergency (e.g. having severe pain, bleeding tissues), then your dentist should be able to see you or recommend you to another emergency dentist.

Take Care of Any Pain

If you have any pain, take some over-the-counter NSAIDs, like Ibuprofen. If you aren't keen on OTC drugs, you can use a little clove oil on a cotton ball and gently dab the spot where the filling has popped out. out. Clove oil can relieve some pain, but make sure you are just putting it on your teeth since it can irritate gum tissue. Hopefully these ideas will tide you over until you get to the dentist; again, if the pain is so severe that painkillers aren't working, find an emergency dentist ASAP.

Schedule a Follow-up After Temporary Fillings

When you do finally get a chance to see your dentist, he or she may put in temporary fillings to protect the tooth. Temporary fillings only last about a month or so, so you need to schedule a follow-up visit to get the filling fixed permanently. If you put off this appointment, the temporary filling can wear down, and the tooth can become infected.

Consider an Inlay or an Onlay at the Follow-Up Appointment

If you've had multiple broken fillings in a single tooth, it may be time to look for other options. While fillings are molded into a tooth, inlays and onlays are made in a dental laboratory and much more durable. Inlays are made for the center of a tooth, while onlays are made for the cusps and outer portions of enamel. Since many people don't want to have their teeth pulled or get dental crowns or implants, inlays and onlays are a great option since they help you maintain as much of your natural tooth as possible.

Prevent Broken Fillings in the Future

If your broken filling was caused by a sporting accident, then it may be time to wear a mouth-guard during play. A mouth-guard can also be valuable for nighttime wear; some people grind their teeth so much at night that fillings can actually become loose and prone to fracturing. 

Check out sites like and contact a local dentist in your area for more information on how to handle a broken filling.