How long do temporary fillings last and how do you look after them until permanent fillings are inserted? Find out all you need to know about this dental procedure.

Tooth decay, acid erosion, and tooth injury to your teeth are potential reasons for needing a dental filling.

Dental fillings include a temporary and a permanent filling.

They will protect your teeth from further decay and infection while waiting for a permanent solution.

This article will cover all the things you need to know about temporary fillings.

Temporary fillings are a tooth treatment method applied by a dentist to repair a damaged tooth.

They are not meant to last, hence the term temporary.

Temporary fillings are made of:

Temporary fillings also have a different color to the tooth. This allows the dentist to easily locate the tooth when replacing them with permanent fillings.

Temporary fillings may be white, whitish-gray, white-blue, or pinkish in color.

When Are Temporary Fillings Used?

Temporary fillings are used or applied when the patient meets certain conditions for treatment by the dentist.

These include:

  1. to settle sensitive nerves
  2. temporary cap for crowns
  3. emergency treatment
  4. when a temporary seal is needed after a root canal treatment
  5. when dental treatment will take a few visits to correct

Settling Sensitive Nerves

A temporary medicated filling will settle down the nerves in your mouth and allow the tooth to heal before a more permanent filling is inserted.

A good sign that all is well and healing is the fact that your pain has disappeared.

A Temporary Seal After A Root Canal

A badly decayed tooth might need a root canal to ultimately save it.

A root canal treatment is a dental procedure that removes the infection from the tooth and saves it from being extracted. When an infection attacks the center of the tooth it spreads and attacks the dental pulp.

The dental pulp contains the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues and is very sensitive.

Any infection in the dental pulp area can damage the whole tooth. A dental pulp infection can cause a lot of pain.

A temporary filling after a root canal will seal the hole in the tooth. This helps in preventing the food and bacteria from getting into the hole and causing added dental problems

Emergency Cavity Treatment

If you have a cavity that is causing a sharp pain, the dentist may place an emergency temporary tooth filling if he does not have the time to put in a permanent filling when you require it.

Waiting For A Dental Crown

A temporary filling can also be used by your dentist if your cavity requires dental crowns. A crown is simply a cap for damaged teeth.

It can be made from metal or porcelain and a variety of other materials. Crowns can be placed on your front teeth that have been specifically designed to match your other teeth.

The filling can protect your tooth until the crown is ready for insertion.

If The Dentist Wants To Work On Your Teeth Frequently

Temporary fillings can be used by your dentist to work on your teeth across several visits.

It is quicker to remove a temporary filling than a permanent filling. This allows your dentist to do extensive dental work over a few weeks.

How Long Do Temporary Fillings Last On The Tooth?

There is no fixed time or period on how long temporary fillings last. Several factors can affect the time frame.

These include:

  • material used
  • eating habits
  • trauma to your tooth
  • dental hygiene
  • decay around the filling
  • teeth grinding habits

The duration will vary from person to person. The type of material used may also affect its shelf life.

In general, they can last from a few weeks to a few months.

It is of paramount importance that you take good care of them.

For How Long Is A Temporary Filling Painful?

For How Long Is A Temporary Filling Painful

You can experience mild pain after a temporary filling, which is normal and usually temporary.

Any pain and sensitivity you experience should be resolved within a few days or weeks.

Pain after a temporary filling insertion is sometimes caused by other factors which may need immediate treatment.

If you are experiencing pain, fever, or excessive swelling – call your dentist.

You definitely need to consult your dentist if the pain becomes unbearable.

How Long Should I Wait Before Eating After A Filling?

It is advisable to wait until the initial pain and soreness dissipate before eating.

What you eat can also affect your filling and is of paramount importance.

How Do l Take Care Of My Temporary Fillings?

For your temporary fillings to last until your next appointment by the dentist, you need to take good care of them. They are made of fragile materials.

Here are some tips on how you can take care of your temporary fillings.

Avoid Eating On The Side With The Temporary Filling

Avoid eating with the side of your mouth with the new filling. This can cause it to crack and fall out.

If you choose to eat with the side with the filling, you need to chew slowly.

Avoid Eating Hard And Sticky Foods

Avoid eating hard food. 

Hard foods include ice, candy, and nuts. They can cause the material of the filling to fall out.

Also, stay away from sticky foods. These include gum and toffee.

Brush And Floss Carefully

It is recommended that you brush your teeth after a temporary filling.

But you will need to very careful not to damage the  filling in the process.

You will need to use a soft or extra soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush gently and thoroughly.

When flossing instead of pulling up when you remove the floss from between your teeth, pull it out the side.

This will stop any snagging of the floss on the temporary materials and pulling it out.

Keep Your Tongue Away From The Filling

Keeping your tongue away from the filling will prevent dislodging it.

Constantly touching the filling with your tongue can loosen it.

What Should l Do If My Temporary Filling Comes Out?

What If My Temporary Filling Falls Out

Generally, a temporary filling will last until your follow-up appointment.

However, sometimes it may break or fall out unexpectedly. 

If your filling is damaged you need to book an appointment with your dentist.

It will need to be repaired or replaced. 

The earlier it is done the better as this can prevent further damage to your tooth.

It is better to not ignore the issue.

Conclusion

Temporary fillings are not meant to last. However, they are the best way to protect your damaged tooth while you wait for a permanent solution.

They should last for a couple of months while the dentist prepares the permanent filling.

They protect your teeth and prevent further infection.

However, the fillings are fragile and need great care.

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