My filling fell out! What do I do?

4th July 2018 | Posted by: Vanessa Giraud

Last updated 8th April 2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update:

  • During lockdown regular dental care is restricted. Please read the tips below about what you can do until you’re able to visit the dentist.
  • Because of the current pandemic, current thinking advises against the non-prescribed use of anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, as it may suppress the immune system. If possible, use the correct dosage of paracetamol instead. Whichever pain medication you take, do not exceed the recommended dose.

What do I do now?

man in orange shirt with tooth ache as filling fell out

What can I do about my toothache until I can see my dentist?

Did you know?

Advice from Dr Graham Barnby BDS, DGDP, RCS – Clinical Director of SpaDental

Portrait of Dr Graham Barnby Clinical Director SpaDental “When you lose a filling in a tooth, you can use a temporary filling material to tide you over. This will reduce pain when eating and stop the tongue exploring the cavity. Choose from a range of filling materials available at pharmacies. They are all like a soft putty that hardens in the mouth.

Before placing the material into the cavity, dry the area with a cotton bud to increase retention of the material in the tooth. Roll the filling material into a ball and place it in the tooth using finger pressure to mould into the cavity. This will then harden and reduce pain from hot and cold food until you get to the dentist.”

Please remember that these fillings are only temporary. Where your filling was, bacteria could be doing more damage. Make an appointment to visit your dentist as soon as possible.

attractive couple eating but what if filling fell out?
It happens. There’s that moment when you’re chewing something and you start to wonder. What’s that? What’s in the food? And then you manage to spit out whatever it is (discreetly, because you can be sure it will happen at a meal when good manners matter). And, sure enough, you know your filling fell out. You’re certain because your tongue goes straight to the yawning hole left in your tooth.

Why do fillings fall out?

What will my dentist do as my filling fell out?

“Kind, understanding and efficient – With a lost filling and tooth-ache I was given an emergency appt earlier in the day. After an Xray it was decided to remove the tooth due to infection and damage. This was my decision based on information given.” SW – a SpaDental Chard patient

“Emergency appointment – I lost a filling and was given two options by my dentist – either have the molar extracted or have a crown fitted. I went for the 2nd option and am very happy with the result!” MB – a SpaDental Plymouth patient

How do I stop it happening again?

On the topic:

In the news:

Views on amalgam fillings are changing. New legislation is regulating the environmental impact of all mercury.

“Having a filling – I was greeted really well as I went in the room by both the dentist and dental assistant. I was told everything that was going on and felt totally at ease from start to finish. No pain at all. Even the injections didn’t hurt. Would highly recommend this practice.” AL – a SpaDental Plymouth patient

Pages with useful information:

This article was written in response to a patient’s question.

Ask us your question about oral health







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SpaDental practices are open for remote emergency consultation only

Under instruction from NHS England:

  • All routine, non-urgent dental care is suspended.
  • We offer remote urgent care during work hours. Contact us by phone, email or the link below. A clinician is on hand to advise and recommend temporary solutions.
  • Patients with severe symptoms will be referred to a local urgent dental care facility.

Access our remote urgent care:

Patients with booked appointments: please make sure your contact information is current as we will reschedule.

NHS England implements the above restrictions to protect patients and clinicians. Please stay at home.

This note was updated on 26th March 2020