Improper oral care can lead to a range of issues concerning your oral hygiene. From cavities, tooth decay and a bad taste in your mouth, to gum disease and even permanent tooth loss, ensuring you keep on top of your oral health is essential to avoid costly and sometimes invasive treatment, anything from a temporary filling upwards.

When your teeth become damaged, they will require dental or orthodontic intervention to restore them, and one of the most popular treatments for minor cases are temporary fillings.

What is a temporary filling?

3D model of teeth with temporary fillings

As the name suggests, a temporary filling (or tooth filling) is a filling that is used to restore and protect a damaged tooth for as long as it takes for your dentist to replace it with a permanent filling. Temporary fillings are not permanent, so be sure to arrange a follow-up appointment to have your temporary filling replaced with a permanent filling.

When are temporary fillings required?

There are only a few conditions where temporary fillings are required. In most cases, your dentist will fit a permanent filling, but if you require an urgent filling (possibly due to accident or sudden trauma to your tooth), your dentist will fit a temporary filling. The only difference is that these fillings are not designed to last forever and will likely come loose or fall out if they are not replaced in time.

How long do temporary fillings last?

Temporary fillings are not made from the same material as traditional fillings, meaning they are not equipped to withstand typical eating and drinking habits for a prolonged period of time. How long temporary fillings last depends on a few factors, but ultimately their lifespan varies from person to person.

Some temporary fillings may become loose or damaged in just a few weeks, whereas others can last up to three months. If you have been told to expect a delay in waiting for your permanent filling, ask your dentist how long your temporary filling will last.

The temporary filling procedure guide

Tooth filling operation in progress.

The procedure is very straightforward, with most patients leaving the clinic in under 40 minutes. While some dental clinics may differ slightly in their approach, you can expect the treatment process to follow a guide similar to below:

Your dentist will numb the affected tooth to ensure a comfortable treatment. Next, they will clear any debris or decay that has become lodged within the tooth (in some severe cases, a root canal may be required).

Then, your dentist will begin mixing the filling agent to then fill the cavity. Lastly, your dentist will ensure the filling is level with the tooth so that it looks natural.

The 3 major filling care tips

Below, we have outlined three top care tips for maintaining your temporary filling(s):

  1. Try to avoid hard and/or sticky foods

Nuts, hard candies and sticky foods such as sweets and toffees are best avoided while your temporary filling is in place. Biting down hard on such foods may loosen or even remove the temporary filling. If the filling comes out and you neglect to get it treated, problems will eventually occur and you may find it difficult to eat and drink on that side.

  1. Clean and clean again

Brushing and flossing is absolutely essential to ensure your temporary filling remains intact and does not become damaged. Carefully floss around the affected tooth, flossing side to side is preferred to ensure you do not accidentally pull the filling up as you’re removing the floss thread.

  1. Listen to the instruction given by your dentist

Your dentist will instruct you on what you can and cannot eat and how to properly care for your temporary filling. This may include oral hygiene tips, such as brushing and flossing guidelines, avoiding eating on the implant site and more.

Recovery and pain relief for temporary fillings

Dentist in her practice and wearing a face mask.

Having a temporary filling placed is a fast and painless treatment and you are in and out of the clinic within 30-40 minutes. Your dentist will likely numb your tooth to alleviate any risk of pain or minor discomfort. 

After your procedure, you may experience some minor pain as the anaesthetic wears off, but this can be countered by pain medication.

When your permanent filling is ready to be placed, your temporary filling will be removed. They are much easier to remove and this process is, again, swift and painless.

How much do temporary fillings cost?

At Hove Dental Clinic, our long-lasting and state of the art composite fillings start from £130. These composite fillings are made from composite resins and ceramic and are designed to re-invigorate and improve the strength and durability of your teeth. You can find out more on our prices by visiting our price page.

Do you require a temporary filling?

Whether you have recently endured trauma to your tooth or your tooth is in pain and you’re not sure why, Hove Dental Clinic provides emergency temporary fillings for all patients. Simply contact our friendly team today to book your appointment.

*Please ensure that you follow the government’s latest guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic to remain safe during your visit.

Book your appointment today