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Understanding the Purpose and Types of Temporary Tooth Fillings

Posted in cosmetic dentistry, Dental Care, Dental Implant, Dental Surgery, and General Dentistry

Temporary Tooth Fillings

When it comes to dental care, temporary tooth fillings play a crucial role in maintaining oral health under certain circumstances. Dentists employ these temporary solutions in various situations to protect teeth and alleviate discomfort until permanent restorations can be made. Let’s delve into why dentists use temporary fillings and explore the different materials utilized compared to permanent fillings.

Purpose of Temporary Fillings

Temporary tooth fillings serve as interim solutions for several scenarios:

  • Emergency Situations: In cases of sudden tooth damage or decay, temporary fillings provide immediate relief until a more permanent treatment plan can be implemented.
  • Preparation for Permanent Fillings: Before placing permanent fillings, dentists may use temporary ones to protect the affected tooth and ensure optimal conditions for the final restoration.
  • Post-Root Canal Treatment: Following root canal therapy, a temporary filling seals the tooth’s access opening until a permanent filling or crown is placed, preventing infection and further damage.
  • Waiting for Custom Restorations: When patients require custom-made crowns or bridges, temporary fillings safeguard prepared teeth while awaiting the fabrication of permanent prosthetics.


Temporary fillings differ from permanent ones in composition and longevity. Dentists select materials based on factors such as the extent of damage, location within the mouth, and duration of placement. Common materials for temporary fillings include:

  • Zinc Oxide Eugenol: This sedative material provides soothing relief for sensitive teeth and possesses antibacterial properties. However, it is not suitable for long-term use due to its susceptibility to wear and degradation.
  • Glass Ionomer Cement: Offering durability and fluoride release, glass ionomer cement is ideal for temporary fillings in areas with minimal stress. Its adhesive properties make it suitable for lining cavities and protecting tooth structure.
  • Composite Resins: While typically used for permanent fillings, composite resins can serve as temporary solutions in certain cases. They provide excellent aesthetics and can withstand moderate chewing forces, making them suitable for short-term use in visible areas.

Offering Interim Protection and Relief

Temporary tooth fillings play a vital role in dental care, offering interim protection and relief in various situations. Dentists utilize different materials depending on the specific requirements of each case, ensuring optimal outcomes until permanent restorations can be implemented. By understanding the purpose and types of temporary fillings, patients can appreciate their importance in maintaining oral health and preserving tooth structure. If you’re dealing with discomfort from a tooth or your gums call Erbsville Dental today.