Temporary Fillings Coming Loose

Temporary fillings are made of composite resin, but are put in with the intention of being removed in the near future, to be replaced by permanent filings or a crown, or inlay. Root canal treatments, crowns and bridges and inlays or onlays frequently employ temporary fillings. These fillings come loose or entirely out of the hole in the tooth more frequently, and are a cause of some concern.

Best case scenario

The best case scenario is that the tooth filling has come out but there is no problem with the tooth or the filling. In this case, wash the area out gently with lukewarm water. Afterwards, gently place the filling back into the tooth. After that, use a wet q-tip very gently to push the filling all the way into the hole and mould it so that it does not come loose again. Call your dentist and tell them about your filling and ask for a replacement. 

When not to put the filling back

In some cases, it is best to not put the filling back at all. If you experience any of the following, please call your dentist immediately and get an appointment:

- If you cannot pout the temporary filling back in the hole because of swelling, or if the gums have pushed out the filling, then you should not put the filling back in, and should contact your dentist immediately.
- If your tooth has broken or has crumbled so that filling no longer fits and cannot be put back inside, than do not try and stick it in there. If the tooth does not hurt then there is no rush, but do call your dentist as soon as possible, and book an appointment, as that tooth is now in danger.
- If the tooth or surrounding area is damaged, or is painful, and the temporary filling is bothering the tooth, then do not put it back in. Take some pain medication, and call your dentist for an emergency appointment instead.
- If your filling has broken or has crumbled away, and has come out of the tooth and cannot be replaced or does not fit anymore, just throw it out. If the tooth is not sensitive you should have no problems, but should get in touch with your dentist.

Sealing the tooth

It is important that you reseal the tooth. It was probably sealed with a temporary filling because the nerve is more exposed than usual, and it can become inflamed. Holes in teeth can also have food stuck in the aperture, which breeds bacteria that can also lead to an infection, so it is of utmost importance that the tooth is sealed again. Although certain household materials can work in a short interim period, you should go and see a dentist to get another temporary fitted.

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