Cavities are an unfortunate result of a sugary diet and inconsistent flossing or brushing. Over time, plaque builds up to create dangerous and painful holes in your teeth. There are also various adverse effects from cavities, including black or brown stains, sensitivity in the tooth, sharp pains, and glaring holes in the teeth.
There are both short- and long-term solutions for treating a cavity, however. Dental fillings play a pivotal role in repairing different parts of your damaged teeth and blocking additional decay. Typically, fillings are permanent operations, but your dentist could get the job done with a temporary filling.
What is a temporary filling?
A temporary filling is a makeshift treatment that works to restore and repair a damaged tooth. Instead of applying a permanent mixture, the temp filling will utilize a semi-permanent solution. Following a temp filling operation, you will need to schedule a second appointment with the dentist to replace it with a permanent solution.
What are temporary fillings used for?
So, what types of situations are temporary fillings typically used for? Whenever you have an extremely painful cavity, and your doctor does not have the time to treat it with a permanent filling, a temporary alternative will offer a short-term solution for the pain.
Dental crowns are another instance where a temporary filling could be useful. If a deep cavity needs a dental crown, the filling shields the tooth before the crown is set to go. That way, when the cap is ready to get placed on the tooth, it will be a lot less painful.
Tooth Filling Process
The tooth filling process usually takes a half-hour, and it is a straightforward operation. The dentist will apply a local anesthetic to numb your gums and nearby areas. Any decay will then be removed with a drill. If the situation is very severe, the dentist may have to implement a root canal or other tactic. Next, the dentist will prepare the filling agent and then place it into the cavity, applying it to the different tooth corners. Until the hole is filled, the dentist will continue to spread the solution.
Lastly, the cleanup process begins, and the dentist will smooth over any excess particles or materials. This step helps to shape the tooth and make it look as natural as it did before the operation.
How long will the temporary filling last?
Temporary fillings tend to break down slowly throughout time. The temp filling consists of a softer solution, so it is more likely to fall out or crack if a permanent one does not replace it.
There is not a consistent lifespan of a temporary filling because it depends on the person. But you can usually expect a temporary filling to last for a couple of weeks to a couple of months. The best thing to do is to consult with your dentist to schedule an optimal time for a follow-up appointment.
How to care for a temporary filling
There are many ways to help treat the pain following a temporary filling. First, start by being mindful about when you floss or brush. You can still brush over the tooth where the filling is located, but gently use a soft-bristled toothbrush on the spot. When you floss near the temp filling, pull the floss out of the side instead of pulling it up to avoid pain or other issues.
It’s best to avoid eating near the area of the mouth that houses the temporary filling. You can still enjoy your favorite foods but always be aware of how much pressure you are putting on the filling.