I’m on a family vacation. I felt something weird on my tongue. Lo and behold, my filling fell out. I’m not sure what to do. I noticed there was some filling material at a local pharmacy when I went to get my wife a new toothbrush (hers didn’t make it into her suitcase). Could I just use that and then see my dentist when we get back?
What a bummer this happened on your vacation with your family. It’s great that you’re taking time out to spend with them. I bet you’ll have great memories (except for this part, of course).
The dental filling material you saw is a temporary measure. Whether or not it will be useful to you will depend on how long it will be before you can get to see a dentist. It’s meant to work for a few days at the maximum. If you’re going to be much longer than that, you’ll need to be seen by somebody.
Fortunately, there are “emergency dentists”. Really, they’re simply general dentists who are willing to see non-established patients in cases like yours where they need help quickly.
You don’t want them to just re-close the hole. There’s a reason the filling fell out. It may be there’s some new decay. Or, if it was an old amalgam (silver) filling, it could just have come loose. Either way, as the detective on Midsommer Murders always says “I need to know.” You need to know.
Just Covering It Will Lead to a Serious Dental Emergency
If it is decay, it needs to be removed. Just covering it with a new filling will not stop it from spreading. It will continue to spread beneath the new filling. As the picture above shows, it will enter the pulp, causing an infection.
Dental infections can become deadly because they’ll spill out to the rest of your body. An antibiotic alone doesn’t work. Because of the nature of dental pulp, the infection needs to be physically removed with a root canal treatment. If you don’t and it spreads, think about how close your jaw is to both your heart and brain. You certainly don’t want the infection to spread there.
When finances are a problem, there are affordable dentists willing to work with you to ensure you get the treatment you need. They’re especially willing to do that when you have a dental emergency.
Enjoy your vacation but don’t leave this untreated.
This blog is brought to you by the Akron dentists at Angel Dental Care.