Whether one of your teeth has gone through a bit more wear and tear than it should, or you’re about to cover up a few imperfections with extensive treatments, a permanent filling has proven to be a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to dental problems.
With the right amount of maintenance and proper dental hygiene, permanent fillings can last as long as possible without you having to go through too many corrective measures to maintain their shape or prevent any problems. Although the term “permanent filling” might seem like the treatment will actually last long like its namesake, the truth is there’s a chance that these fillings can still break.
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Why Do Permanent Fillings Break?
- While you probably expected a permanent filling to last forever, there’s a reason why dentists don’t promise that they will last forever because there’s always a chance that they might break. The most common causes of breakage are accidents, bad brushing and eating habits, all of which are inevitable. That means your permanent filling will need to be replaced eventually.
- If your permanent filling breaks or slips out, you should contact Icon Dental Center and schedule an appointment online right away (it only takes a few minutes). A damaged filling will automatically expose a vulnerable cavity under it after it breaks. If a filling is left unattended after it’s damaged, the vulnerable cavity can become severely infected. An infection will lead to further complications that may result in various oral diseases.
After contacting one of our dentist offices in Washington, and scheduling an appointment, here are some crucial steps you need to follow step by step to ensure you don’t invite infections.
Brush Your Teeth and Clean Them Thoroughly
- The initial stage after breakage is the most crucial and vulnerable. You’ll have to clean your teeth extremely well and remove any harmful bacteria in your mouth in order to avoid a serious infection. By gently brushing your teeth twice a day and regularly rinsing the inside of your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash, you’ll be able to lower the chances of an infection.
Additionally, you will also have to rinse your mouth after meals in order to avoid having food particles stuck in hard to reach areas.
Apply a Numbing Agent
- Once a permanent filling breaks, the highly-sensitive tooth pulp that it was protecting will be exposed. This will cause a significant amount of discomfort, and the only way to fix it is to get a new filling right away. The best way to neutralize the pain and discomfort is to rub a numbing agent right on the tooth and the area around it.
Take a Few Painkillers
- Following the correct dose, it’s best to reinforce the effect of the numbing agent by taking a painkiller in order to avoid any kind of discomfort. Certain over-the-counter painkillers such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen will reduce the pain that you’ll be experiencing due to the vulnerable and exposed tooth pulp.
- If you are forced to wait a while before you can get a new permanent filling because of scheduling problems, you’ll have to eat carefully in order to avoid making things worse for yourself.
Eating carefully entails not chewing on the damaged side, and avoiding certain types of food. Don’t eat anything that’s hard, sticky, or sweet. It’s also important to note that your teeth will be sensitive (use the correct toothpaste) to both hot and cold items, so it’s best to stick to lukewarm drinks and food to avoid pain caused by temperature sensitivity.
Avoid Grinding Your Teeth
- If you’re in the habit of nighttime grinding and clenching, you should avoid until you get your teeth refilled. Grinding your teeth can lead to broken or chipped dental implant crowns. It is a good idea to use a nightguard to protect your teeth from damage if you’re in the habit.
If you ever wake up with a sensitive feeling or pain in your teeth, you should immediately let us know so we can help protect the investment you made with a nightguard or bite adjustment.
What Should You Do If a Dental Implant Crown Breaks?
- If somehow the dental implant crown broke, contact our Seattle or Everett Dental offices immediately. If it is possible, save the pieces of the crown. Typically, our dentists will have to replace the crown if it breaks, but the dental implant abutment should remain intact.
Keep in mind that your dental implant is breakable but it is not fragile. If you treat it with caution, follow good-brushing habits, and avoid grinding and food that causes damage to the teeth, you can keep the artificial tooth for years to come.