All You Need to Know About Temporary Fillings for Teeth

Temporary tooth fillings are a very important discovery in the field of dentistry. They offer short-term relief for dental issues and prevent the teeth from getting decayed further in some cases. They act as interim solutions for certain types of oral ailments and are excellent for dentists to buy time for permanent solutions. It is very necessary for dentists to have an understanding of these fillings so that they can ensure efficient treatment of their patients.

What is a Temporary filling for a Tooth?

A temporary tooth filling is a material used to seal a tooth cavity for a short amount of time. It covers the exposed area in a tooth until the dentist performs a permanent restoration. It is used in situations where a permanent filling or crown cannot be placed immediately. These situations can include emergency dental visits or when other dental work is planned or in progress.

The material of the temporary fillings is different from that of permanent fillings. These materials involve:

  • Zinc Oxide Eugenol: It is a material that often provides a soothing sensation to patients. It is often used when the patients are complaining about tooth sensitivity.
  • Composite Resin: This is a material that matches the colour of teeth. This quality makes it very popular for tooth filling. It is used for bonding to existing teeth for additional support.
  • Glass Ionomer Cement: This is a material that is used for fillings that are needed below the gum line. It releases fluoride that prevents further decay of teeth.

Purpose of Temporary filling for a Tooth

There are multiple purposes that dentists have behind using temporary fillings. Let’s take a detailed look at these purposes:

  • Protective Seal: These fillings effectively seal the exposed area of a tooth. They prevent bacteria, saliva, and food debris from entering the exposed area. The main reason behind using fillings here is to avoid further infection and decay and to protect the underlying nerves and tooth structure.
  • Pain Relief: Temporary fillings for teeth can offer relief from both pain and tooth sensitivity as it covers dentin and exposed nerves. It proves to be very important when it comes to a tooth that is cracked, broken or has a large cavity.
  • Preventive Measure: These fillings can be a great preventive measure until a permanent filling, crown or root canal procedure is performed. This prevents any further complications in the patient’s ailment.
  • Preparing for Future Treatment: When a dental procedure like a root canal is performed by a dentist, the patient needs to make multiple visits. These fillings buy time for the tooth to settle down so that the patient gets time for multiple visits for a comprehensive treatment.
  • Emergency Procedure: If a patient’s tooth is fractured, temporary filling can prove to be a quick pain relief option until proper diagnosis and treatment are done. This gives the patients immediate relief and protection when they need it the most.
  • Patients and dental health professionals need to understand that temporary fillings for teeth are not a long-term solution. The materials used to make them are not very reliable or durable. It is highly advisable for patients to keep up with dentist appointments in case of ongoing treatment. This is necessary for ensuring the proper health and functioning of teeth.

The Limitations of Using Temporary Filling for Tooth

Temporary fillings are safe to use in the situations discussed previously in this blog. However, there are a few limitations to using this in dental procedures. The dentists and patients should be both well aware of them. These limitations are:

  • Lack of Durability: They are not as durable as permanent fillings. They aren’t designed to last long and are prone to wearing down and degrading over time due to the force of chewing and saliva.
  • Vulnerable to leakage: Temporary fillings do not seal the teeth as permanently as permanent fillings. This is why they might allow food or bacteria to enter the tooth cavity, leading to further decay and infections. It is highly advisable to remove these fillings as per standard procedure.
  • Sensitivity Issues: Certain temporary fillings, particularly the ones that have eugenol (like zinc oxide eugenol), can cause irritation & sensitivity in the surrounding gum tissues.
  • Prone to Discomfort: If the temporary filling is not used or contoured properly, there might be some rough edges. This can lead to discomfort to the tongue or cheek.
  • Allergic Reaction: It is rare, but sometimes, a patient can have an allergic reaction to one of the components of temporary filling for teeth. It can lead to swelling or oral irritation.
  • Delay in Permanent Restoration: Some patients might not follow up on their appointments and postpone permanent tooth restoration. Prolonged use of these fillings can lead to more decay, fracture in the tooth, or loss of the temporary filling.

Dentists need to ensure patients are well aware of these limitations to minimize these side effects and improve their overall oral health. To prevent complications, it is also recommended that dentists follow a robust appointment schedule for procedures like root canals. Additionally, dentists should not take patients’ complaints about discomfort, pain, or irritation lightly after the patient has been treated using temporary fillings.


Temporary tooth fillings are very important for dentists to be able to treat their patients well. They offer immediate protection and relief in many situations. They are a very valuable tool for handling dental care emergencies effectively. It is necessary for dentists to have a thorough understanding of the purpose and limitations of this material. If you are a dentist on the lookout for quality tools & materials for your dental practice, you should go to the website of Dental Avenue for more products like Burs. It is an e-commerce site with all that a dental practice can need. With high quality products at a reasonable price, they are truly becoming the market leader in the dentistry world.

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