Losing a filling or part of one can present a real dental emergency.  But how can you save your tooth and limit the damage until you can get to see your dentist for a professional repair?  Read on to find out more.

Emergency dental first aid

You can obtain a ready-made emergency dental first kit from good pharmacies and large supermarkets, and you'll need one of these inexpensive kits in order to patch up your damaged filling.

Here's what to do if you lose a filling.

  1. The first thing to do is to wash out the filling cavity using warm water to get rid of any bits of food debris.  This is very important as, if you leave bits of detritus within the tooth cavity and then seal it in with a temporary filling, bacteria could develop and set up a painful infection.  
  2. Soak a cotton bud with the setting product contained in the emergency dental repair kit and apply it to the cavity.  Be careful not to touch your tongue, gums or cheek with the cotton bud.  
  3. Take a small quantity of the special ready-made filling material in the kit and press it into the cavity, slightly over-filling it.  
  4. Tamp the filling material well down into the cavity using the special applicator included with the kit.  
  5. Next close your teeth together and gently grind them across the filling so that you create a comfortable bite.  Try to get the surface as smooth as possible so that your mouth is comfortable when you close it.  
  6. Take a cotton bud moistened with water and use it to remove any excess filling product from around the tooth.  It's important that the cotton bud is moist in order to accelerate the setting of the filling.  
  7. Rinse your mouth out thoroughly with clean, warm water to get rid of any stray bits of filling.  
  8. Be sure to allow a couple of hours before chewing on the filling to allow it set completely.

It's a really good idea to have an emergency dental repair kit in your medical cabinet, just in case of accidents. 

In conclusion

It's important to note that, although emergency dental repair kits are extremely effective for making temporary repairs, they are not intended to provide an alternative to proper professional dental treatment.  If you do lose a filling, always make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible, so that you can have the filling replaced properly.  Temporary DIY fillings are only intended to last for a couple of days, not as a permanent solution.