Temporary filling

Introduction - What is a temporary filling?

A temporary filling (also called temporary filling) is a filling that is not definitive. It must therefore be renewed in a certain period of time because the material is washed out or removed.
This is because temporary filling materials have poorer mechanical and aesthetic properties than permanent filling materials.

Which filling materials are used?

Various dental cements are used for the temporary filling, for example

  • Zinc oxide phosphate cement (Harvard Cement ®)
  • Zinc Oxide Eugenol Cement (TempBond ™)
  • Glass ionomer cement (KetacCem ™ and KetacFill ™) or
  • Resin cement (Rey X ™ Unicem)

Cavit ™ is also one of the temporary sealing materials, but even when cured it is not chewable and lasts less than 14 days.

This is a temporary filling

Temporary fillings are mostly dental cements made by mixing a liquid with powder.

Zinc oxide phosphate cement consists of
Liquid: 50-60% phosphoric acid, 35% water, 5-10% aluminum and zinc
Powder: 90% zinc oxide powder, 10% magnesium oxide

Contains zinc oxide eugenol cement
Liquid: eugenol (clove oil and other vegetable oils)
Powder: 70% zinc oxide, 28% rosin, 2% activators

Glass ionomer cement is composed as follows:
Liquid: 48% acidic polymer, 47% water, 7% tartaric acid
Powder: aluminum silicate glass with calcium and fluoride

Resin cement is a dual-curing cement, which means that light accelerates the curing process. This is achieved using plastic molecules that are also found in composite fillings.
Liquid: phosphoric acid methacrylate (monomers)
Powder: inorganic basic fillers

Cavit ™ is already mixed and is made up of zinc oxide, ethyl diacetate, zinc sulfate and polyvinyl acetate.

How long does a temporary filling last?

The durability of the temporary filling varies depending on the material used. The treating dentist can provide precise information on the material and its durability.

So-called Cavit ™ fillings have the lowest shelf life. They are mostly used as part of root canal treatment to close the cavity between appointments. Cavit is about the consistency of chewing gum and should be replaced after a few days up to 2 weeks.

Cement-based fillings usually do not last longer than 6-12 months, e.g. Zinc phosphate cement or zinc oxide ugenol cement .. GIZ (glass ionomer cement) can adhere to the hard tooth substance for longer, which is why this cement is also used as a permanent filling on the neck of the tooth, for example.

Read correspondingly: Tooth neck filling

Resin cement is also often used as a core build-up in preparation for a crown and can reach the durability of a permanent filling.

Temporary filling after a temporary filling

In principle, leaky temporary fillings can be replaced with new temporary fillings.

However, it should be noted that when replacing the filling, some of the hard tooth substance must always be removed, which weakens the tooth. It is assumed that a tooth undergoes a filling exchange about 4 times before the nerve becomes inflamed by the irritation and a root canal treatment is necessary.

It is therefore usually more sensible to use permanent restorative materials that can last longer than 15 years. This avoids having to renew the panels too often.

This does not apply to Cavit ™ fillings in the context of root canal treatment. This material can be easily removed without removing tooth structure.

When replacing the temporary filling with another temporary filling, it can be advantageous to use the same material.

You might also be interested in: Material of a tooth filling

What do you have to consider with a temporary filling? Are you allowed to smoke?

If the temporary filling was done under local anesthesia, you should wait until the anesthesia has subsided before smoking and eating so as not to injure yourself.

Otherwise, smoking lowers the blood circulation, so that healing also takes place more slowly. The nicotine in cigarette smoke discolors both the tooth substance and the filling materials brownish.

Brushing your teeth after a temporary filling

Cement fillings are hardly resistant to abrasion, which means that more and more substance dissolves over time and the edge of the filling becomes leaky. To avoid tooth decay on the leaky filling, teeth should be brushed as normal. But even a freshly placed filling needs to be cleaned well.

You can also find more on the topic at: Proper dental care

Pain in a temporary filling - what can it be?

During the setting process of the cement, vital teeth may experience pain because the pH value drops sharply for a short time. This irritates the nerve fibers inside the tooth, causing pain. However, they should lie down after a few days.

In addition, too much filling can lead to pain when biting. We recommend that you visit the dentist again so that the filling can be adjusted to the correct height.

Find out more at: Toothache after a filling

What to do if a temporary filling falls out?

If a temporary filling has fallen out completely or partially, the tooth should be closed again as soon as possible, even if there is no acute pain.

The dentist can then renew the filling. It is important to present yourself to the dentist as soon as possible so that there is no spread of germs and infection on the tooth.

Read on below: Dental filling fell out

Bitter taste on the temporary filling

Cement fillings set after mixing and placing until they have reached their final hardness.During this time, various chemical reactions take place in which, for example, acidic by-products are formed, which then also affect the taste.

Clove oil, which is also a component of the zinc oxide ugenol cement, is typical for a bitter taste. The taste should be gone after a few days. Even after composite fillings, some patients report a bitter taste in the mouth.

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