Every person is under risk of encountering cavities or tooth decay that can occur because of frequent consumptions of sugary drinks and foods as well as not flossing or brushing teeth properly. Tooth decay and cavities can also occur because of too much bacteria in the mouth.
The most common and effective solution for cavities and tooth decay is dental fillings. They are aimed to replace parts of a damaged tooth and prevent further decay. The vast majority of people think that fillings are always permanent. However, there are also cases when your family dentist might recommend temporary fillings as a treatment for tooth decay. The following parts of this article put an emphasis on the key things that every person should know about before getting a temporary dental filling.
What is a temporary filling?
A temporary filling is an alternative to traditional fillings that are used to restore a damaged tooth. These dental fillings are not made to last for ages and they generally have to be replaced with permanent ones.
When are temporary filling utilized for?
The use of temporary fillings depends on several conditions. Normally, the process of placing temporary fillings is quicker than with permanent fillings. Therefore, if you are suffering from a cavity, which causes severe pain, your dentist will place a temporary filling as an emergency treatment. However, it will have to be replaced with a permanent filling in the near future.
What are temporary fillings made of?
As was mentioned above, temporary fillings are not made to last forever as they are produced from softer material that is easier to remove. Some materials that are typically used in a production of temporary fillings include:
- Zinc oxide eugenol
- Glass ionomers
- Intermediate restorative materials
As far as you know, permanent fillings match the natural color of a tooth while temporary fillings have a different color. This assists your family dentist in locating the filling when replacing it with a permanent one. Temporary fillings can come in bright white, whitish gray or white with blue.
How long can temporary fillings last?
Temporary fillings will break down over time because of the material used during their production. In addition to that, they can crack and fall out if not replaced. It is not possible to state the exact lifespan of a temporary filling as it varies from patient to patient, the material used. In general, they can last between a few weeks to several months. Once your temporary filling has been placed, you should ask your dental specialist when it needs to be replaced with a permanent filling.
What are the side effects and complications of temporary fillings?
You should be aware of the fact that when it is time to replace your temporary fillings, your dentist will numb your tooth for the purpose of being able to use a drill to remove the material. This procedure does not normally cause any pain and temporary fillings are generally easier to remove than the permanent ones. Although, you might experience sensitivity after the procedure, which will disappear shortly.
Some people try to save money and avoid replacing temporary fillings. Believe it or not but this is not a good idea. If you do not replace your temporary fillings, they will gradually break down and expose the cavity. As a result, an infection can develop in case bacteria gets into the hole.
You also need to know that there is a small risk of an allergic reaction to materials used in temporary fillings. However, this is not a common situation but the signs of an allergic reaction include swelling in the mouth or itching in the surrounding area.