Everything You Need To Know About Temporary Fillings

A temporary tooth filling is designed to provide protection for a damaged tooth prior to having a permanent treatment. They can be used for emergency dental repairs, as part of a complex dental treatment over multiple visits or even just to provide temporary pain relief. In this blog, we’ll look at everything from when you might need a temporary filling to how to keep it in good condition and prevent further damage to your teeth.

When might I need a temporary filling?

There are only a few instances where a temporary filling will be required, such as dental trauma from an accident or even a root canal. These fillings are only meant to last for a short time so don’t be too concerned if they become loose or fall out, this just means they’re ready to be replaced.

How long do temporary fillings last?

A temporary filling is made from different materials than traditional fillings so aren’t designed to handle your usual drinking or eating habits for prolonged time periods so you need to treat these fillings with a bit more love and care. Therefore, how long the filling lasts ultimately comes down to the person and how they treat it.  Generally, they aren’t put in for any more than a few weeks but your dentist will let you know.

Tips for keeping your temporary filling intact

  • Avoid sticky foods and hard food such as nuts, lollies. The harder it is to chew these foods the more likely the filling will become dislodged.
  • Keep it clean but brush gently. When it comes to flossing, discuss this with your dentist – they may advise you to stop flossing around the tooth while the filling is in.
  • Don’t ignore aftercare instructions. Your dentist will outline everything you need to know to avoid your filling falling out. Not following these instructions may result in having to pay for another filling to be put in.

The procedure

A temporary filling is generally going to be a straightforward, 40-minute procedure but will depend on the root cause for the treatment.

You can expect the affected area to be numbed with local anaesthetic followed by your dentist cleaning and clearing of any debris, or possible root canal. After mixing the filling agent it will be applied level to your other teeth so it looks nice and natural.

Will it be painful?

You may feel a slight prick when the local anaesthetic is injected. You may feel some minor discomfort as this wears off and can be treated easily with over the counter medication

What’s next?

This depends on your treatment plan. If you’re having a root canal, you probably need a crown involving multiple appointments meaning a second temporary filling may need to be applied. If not, your temporary filling will be removed and replaced with your permanent filling. Just like the temporary filling, this is a simple procedure with minimal pain or discomfort involved.

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