Unfortunately in the process of adding more ram to my dell laptop I managed to break a couple of the hinges on the base cover and lose the metal cylinder which surrounds the single captive screw.
The bottom of my laptop practically threatens to fall off now and the screw is constantly falling out. No amount of twisting secures the screw, which also makes me fear that I may have damaged something.
If the laptop is still functioning without the screw in place, I doubt you broke anything else. Replace the base cover. The part number is V71WR. Call Dell Spare Parts 1-800-357-3355 and ask for price and availability of the Dell part number. Or simply search the web for the part number.