Monday, 15 June 2015
Why Did Your Dentist Use a Temporary Filling?
Dentists around the world carry out fillings on a daily basis. A filling is used when there is a cavity to a tooth. Over time the decay eats away at the enamel, making its way into the sensitive dental pulp, which is why a filling is essential to remove the decay and protect the tooth moving forward.
There are two main types of fillings which may be used at your dental appointment. The first is a temporary filling, which lasts only a few weeks or a permanent filling, which is put in place and lasts for years. There are a number of reasons why your dentist may decide to use a temporary filling over a permanent solution.
The first reason you may have been provided with a temporary filling is that your treatment needs more than one appointment. According to Dr Tariq Drabu, a leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon, one of the main reasons a dentist may use a temporary filling is that the patient has a serious problem, which will require more than one treatment. This could mean that you are having a root canal treatment, which takes place over a few appointments.
Rather than putting a permanent filling in place, which is exceptionally strong and having to remove it at each appointment, a temporary one is used, which can be removed easily for each treatment session.
Another reason your dentist may decide to usea temporary filling over a permanent one is that your tooth needs time to heal after a treatment. You may have had your treatment, but the dentist notices an infection or abscess and is unable to close the tooth permanently until it is completely healed. Filing it with a permanent filling at this stage could potentially make matters worse and result in you losing that tooth in the long run.
The tooth is made up of a number of layers. The enamel is the exceptionally hard outer covering of the tooth, which is a protective covering to make your teeth strong. Under that you find the dentin, which is softer and makes up the majority of the tooth and in the centre you get the very delicate and sensitive dental pulp.
The dental pulp contains all the blood vessels and nerves. If your cavity was very deep and the dentist has had to drill low into the tooth, close to the dental pulp, they will provide you with a temporary filling to ensure that the dental pulp isn’t aggravated and you require further treatment before a permanent filling is placed.
In some instances where you have visited the dentist as an emergency case due to pain, you may be given a temporary filling to ensure that there is no further problems with the tooth before you are given a permanent filling. This is a precautionary action to reduce the risk of having to try and remove the strong permanent filling if you continue experiencing some pain after treatment.
Dr Tariq Drabu advised that temporary fillings can provide immediate relief. The filling includes Eugenol, a compound found in cloves, which helps numb and sooth the tooth.
Further this is only a short term solution, a temporary filling will only last a couple of weeks and is not a permanent solution. This means that if you have been given a temporary filling for whatever reason, you must return to your dentist on the given appointment to have the permanent filling placed and ensure that your tooth is healing properly.