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St. Anthony, MN 55421

St. Anthony, MN 55421

Maple Grove, MN 55369

Maple Grove, MN 55369

Temporary Filling For Tooth: What Is The Purpose?

April 15, 2024

Even though we often think of our teeth as strong and easy to care for, they can still become damaged or worn down over time. Sometimes, this damage is bad enough that your dentist suggests filling the tooth to fix it and prevent future problems.

When it comes to dental fillings, we can only think of the permanent ones. However, in certain cases, your dentist can recommend a temporary filling for the tooth.

How Long Does the Temporary Filling Last?

Temporary fillings are made to stay in place for about six to eight weeks, but sometimes, they last longer if you take good care of them. But if a temporary filling stays in your mouth for too long, two things might happen: breakage or fallout.

What is a Temporary Tooth Filling Made of?

Fillings can be made of different stuff, such as tooth-colored composites, porcelain, or dental amalgam. However, temporary fillings are softer and made of zinc phosphate cement and glass ionomers.

When Do You Need a Temporary Filling?

Temporary fillings are usually needed only in specific situations. These situations include:

  • Urgent Cavity Treatment: If a cavity is causing severe pain and your dentist doesn’t have time for a permanent filling, they might use a temporary filling.
  • Dental Crowns: If a cavity needs a dental crown, your dentist might use a temporary filling to protect your tooth until the crown is ready.
  • Seal After a Root Canal: After a root canal, a temporary filling can seal the tooth hole to prevent more dental issues. Your dentist will replace it with a permanent filling as the tooth heals.
  • Sensitive Nerves: A temporary medicated filling can calm nerve pain in your tooth until a permanent filling is placed.
  • Dental Work Over Time: Using a temporary filling allows your dentist to work on your teeth over several visits, as it’s quicker to place and remove than a permanent one.

Temporary Tooth Filling Procedure

Getting a temporary filling is usually quick (sometimes less than half an hour) and not painful. Following is what happens when you get a temporary filling:

  • Your dentist might numb the area in your mouth first.
  • They will remove any decay and do any other necessary dental work.
  • Then, they will shape the filling material on your tooth.

What to Do If a Temporary Filling Falls Out?

Is it moving around a bit? If the temporary filling feels loose, it might have prematurely come off. Following is what to look for:

  • Feel Changes: If the temporary filling feels different when you bite down, it might be loose.
  • Check for Pain: The filling might be loose if your tooth hurts more or feels sensitive.
  • Look Closely: Take a good look at the filling. It might not be sealed properly if it’s moving or looks different.

Wrapping Up

A temporary filling is a good way to keep a damaged tooth safe until you can get a permanent one. A temporary filling for the tooth doesn’t last long, so see your dentist again soon to get a permanent filling.

Visit Dr. Prem Kumar at Almond Dental. Our doctor has 15 years of experience in dentistry and is an active member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and the Academy of General Dentistry. Call us at (612) 782-7000.


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