Broken Filling

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What is a broken filling?

A broken filling is when the dental filling in the mouth chips, splits, breaks or falls out completely. Dental fillings are made from a variety of materials and can vary for each patient, the most common materials are amalgam, gold, porcelain, resin-modified glass ionomer and composite fillings. Each type of filling can withstand different levels of wear and tear, and all will have varying durations they typically last.

What causes a broken filling?

A broken filling can occur for a few reasons, if you suspect or know a filling has broken, please contact your dentist immediately.

  • Trauma to the mouth which displaces the filling.
  • The filling has reached the end of its lifespan.
  • Eating foods that are hard or sticky, such as hard-boiled sweets, nuts, caramel, apples, and crusty breads.
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism).
  • Decay beneath the filling.

How to prevent a filling from breaking?

Breaking a filling is typically an accident so it can be especially difficult to anticipate and prevent such happening. However, the following advice should be considered to help prevent a new filling or old filling from breaking:

  • Avoid very hard foods, especially when your filling is brand-new or reaching the end of its lifespan.
  • Attending an appointment with your dentist every 6-12 months.
  • Taking care when exercising and utilising mouthguards for contact sports.
  • Avoid grinding the teeth, if you are grinding during the night discuss getting a sleep guard with your dentist.

How to treat a broken filling?

A broken filling must be treated at the dentist, it is not recommended to use an at-home filling fixing kit. Your dentist has the expertise to treat the tooth properly, fixing a filling at home can lead to dental decay, and discomfort and ultimately will prolong the symptoms of a broken filling.

Once you are at the dentist, your dentist will assess the area and the extent of the damage. They will then make a judgement based on whether it can be fixed or needs to be replaced entirely.

If the filling can be repaired your dentist will use the same material and bond the two points together to fill the tooth back in. However, if the entire filling needs to be replaced or has already fallen out, your dentist will go about refilling it as though it is a new filling. In  some cases, the damage may go beyond the filling, and your dentist may recommend a crown or ceramic onlay to protect the natural tooth from any exposure and damage.

How to spot a broken filling/ symptoms?

A broken filling will likely be noticeable in the mouth as a section or all of the cavity where it once was is exposed. This is easy to identify when running your tongue over the tooth or using a mirror to look at where the filling once was.

Some patients experience sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks as well as general pain within the area when eating and drinking (separate from the heat reaction). And some report that they can feel the filling dislodged and moving within the mouth.


Where are we?

Just a short-walk from the nearest tube and DLR stops, German Dental is conveniently situated in the City of London, opening Monday-Friday from 10am-6pm for appointments.


German Dental Clinic
1-3 College Hill
Lower Ground


Nearby Tube Stations

Cannon Street

Cannon Street

0.2 miles


0.4 miles


0.4 miles

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