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Temporary Tooth Filling

Updated on October 19, 2011

When Do We Need a Temporary Tooth Filling ?

It's happened to us all hasn't it? There are times when a temporary tooth filling is really handy. Perhaps we are on holiday when we bite into that delicious looking pizza and feel a crunch in our mouth. Hoping it's that particularly crunchy bit of pizza crust, we probe our mouth only to find that a filling has fallen out.

It's sometimes difficult to know exactly what to do at times like these. Obviously if it is a massive filling and you are at the start of a holiday, it is probably going to spoil it so looking up a local dentist is probably the best option here.

However, perhaps it is really not that major but makes it difficult to eat and we feel we would like to resolve it but would rather wait until our return home as we trust our local dentist.

Temporary tooth filling kits

Fortunately, it is now possible to buy over the counter temporary tooth filling kits. These are often zinc oxide based materials and either come in a ready mixed format or sometimes a a powder that you have to mix yourself. 

You simply fill the cavity with the temporary tooth filling and smooth off as best as you can and then allow to harden which it will usually do within a short period of time. These temporary tooth fillings should last you for a few weeks and at least should cover your holidays (unless you are very lucky to have an extremely long holiday!).

As this material is not as hard as dental amalgam, it is of course advisable that you are cautious about what you eat and you should not feel that you can bite down hard on anything. However, nor do you have to east 'mushy' food but it is probably preferable to veer towards softer foods to be on the safe side.

Dental Bonding as a Temporary Tooth Filling

Even if you decide that the cavity is too large for a temporary tooth filling kit to be appropriate and you decide to visit a local dentist. They may well decide not to give you a permanent filling but to allow your own dentist to do this for you as they will be familiar with your dental health record.

In these cases, they are likely to fill the cavity with dental bonding. This is usually a tooth-coloured composite resin or plastic which is placed into the cavity and then hardened using an ultraviolet light. These dental bonding fillings are fairly strong and have been known to last for many years, however, they are not as strong as regular dental amalgam fillings, so it is still advisable to book an appointment with your local dentist on your return home to have the temporary tooth filling removed and a proper filling placed instead.

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