Why Do Dentists Use Temporary Fillings?    

Albert Howard

Why Do Dentists Use Temporary Fillings?    

Dental fillings are commonly used by dentists to fix several problems but sometimes a dentist might choose to do a short-term repair with a temporary filling. 

It will be followed by a permanent restoration which is a more effective fix. Temporary fillings are exactly what the name suggests, and are used as an immediate measure before further treatment.

To put in a temporary filling, the dentist first numbs the area using local anaesthesia and then performs the necessary procedures. He drills a hole, mixes the filling agent and then presses it into the cavity. He then smoothes out the area. 

But while giving a dental crown, the dentist takes extra time to shape the tooth. This procedure does not have any such side effects apart from some sensitivity which is quite normal. If the cavity is small, the procedure can be very quick. 

Why do Dentists Use Temporary Fillings?

Temporary fillings are used for emergency pain management or in case the tooth is too damaged for a normal filling. 

  • As A Temporary Crown or as a root canal temporary filling

In root canal treatment, dentists sometimes use a temporary filling to protect the tooth if there is a delay in putting the permanent filling. The root canal treatment is used if there is tooth decay. 

The dentist drills a hole into the teeth, removes the bacteria and then seals the teeth. Sometimes, we need temporary filling to seal the hole and prevent food and bacteria from getting into the hole. 

In case there is a deep cavity that needs a crown, we can use a temporary filling to seal the hole until the crown is ready. 

But you would have to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Boronia to get a crown as the temporary crown does not last long as they are made of soft material. How long the temporary filling lasts depends on the material used and also varies from person to person.

  • In case of  insufficient time or long treatment

In case there is an emergency situation and the dentist in Bendigo has squeezed in your appointment. He would not have time to perform the entire procedure, so he might place a temporary filling until your next visit to the dentist to temporarily relieve the pain. 

Sometimes the dentist might take some days to decide on the treatment of the dental problem that you are facing. Like in the case of pulpitis, the dentist needs to see how the tooth is responding. 

Therefore, he uses a temporary filling which gives him the time required. During this time, it is important to take care of the temporary fillings so that it does not get damaged or dislodged. It is important that you get a permanent filling as the temporary filling might fall out exposing the nerve ends.

  • To ease sensitive nerves

The dentists sometimes will put in a medicated filling made of zinc oxide eugenol to ease the sensitive or exposed nerves. 

Depending on how the tooth responds, they will decide the further course of action. Zinc oxide eugenol has the properties of the oil of clove and thus desensitises the tooth giving the patient much-needed relief.

The most commonly used material for temporary fillings is glass ionomer, which is strong enough to hold for a few weeks and has a soothing effect on the tooth nerves. It is not possible to tell how long a temporary filling will last, but you have to get a permanent solution in the future. 

Temporary fillings gave a slightly different colour than the natural colour of the tooth. 

Since the temporary filling is not meant to last long it is made of softer materials that harden when mixed with saliva. You need to take care of your temporary filling until you get a permanent one.

The dentist will give you some instructions and tell you not to eat hard or chewy food. If the filling breaks down then it will be exposed to bacteria which will cause infection. You would also need to take care of your dental health by brushing and flossing every day. There might also be a slight allergic reaction like swelling around the area or a rash.