A filling is used in the teeth often to repair a cavity or remove decay. It is essential at times, and looking at the condition, the dentist opts for the permanent or a temporary tooth filling. A permanent tooth filler is long-lasting but, you may be wondering how long do the temporary fillings last? Well, there is no fixed time for it; proper care and maintenance matters. In a few situations, like immediately after the root canal or if the crown is removed and is redesigning, a temporary dental filling is a good option.

Temporary fillings for tooth need reformation after a few months. It is affordable, more accessible to position, and weak. Compared to a permanent one, it looks uglier. However, it is bearable as it is a temporary solution. The temporary fillings need daily cleaning.

Knowing how long do tooth fillings last is essential. It usually lasts longer if patients follow a good oral hygiene routine. Without proper oral hygiene, they won’t last even a few days. Fracture is one of the reasons that can damage it quickly.

How long does it take to fill a cavity?

If you’re wondering about how long does a cavity filling take? The good news is that temporary cavity filling is relatively easy for dentists to fix. Moreover, the sedation dentist uses local anesthetics to numb the area that needs fixing to not feel any discomfort during your cavity filling time.

After numbing the area, your dentist will use a laser or dental drill to remove decay from the tooth. Next, the newly created space will be made ready to apply the temporary cavity filler. Your dentist will then shape the area and may even use an acid gel.

The next step is to finally apply the filling material. Some types of fillings require a special light to harden quickly. Lastly, the cavity filling is polished to remove any sharp edges that could hurt your cheek or tongue.

So how long does it take to get a cavity filled? The procedure is quite simple and takes about an hour to complete. But for several cavities filling, your dentist might treat them over multiple visits.

How long does a filling last?

Many people ask us about how long do fillings last. Well, there’s no fixed answer as it depends on several factors, including:

  • Material used
  • Your eating habits
  • Trauma to your tooth
  • Dental hygiene
  • Decay around the filling
  • Teeth grinding habit

Typically, dental fillings last for at least a decade (10 years) or more. Many restorations last much longer. However, it heavily depends on what filler material you opted for and your temporary or permanent filling care routine.

Types of Fillings Material

So what is a temporary filling made of? Well, there are several temporary dental filling materials, including:

  • Amalgam
  • Composite fillings
  • Glass ionomer
  • Gold inlays and onlays
  • Porcelain inlays

Amalgam filling
Amalgam fillings are silver colored. These fillings are long-lasting and hard-wearing. It can typically last from 15 to 20 years. This type of filling is usually used on the back teeth. So, if you’re budget-savvy, this type of temporary filling material can be the best temporary tooth filling for you. Mainly because of its long-lasting and budget-friendly benefits.

Composite filling
Composite fillings are tooth-colored cavity fillings made from ceramic resin. This type of filling is hard-wearing but may not be as strong as amalgam fillings. After your composite-tooth filling is prepared, your dentist will bond it onto the desired area and apply light to set it in your cavity area. However, this temporary filling material for teeth can become discolored like your other teeth.

Glass ionomer filling
Glass ionomer fillings are also tooth-colored, used to form a chemical link with your teeth. This type of filling material releases fluoride, which helps to prevent tooth decay. However, this material is somewhat weak and only used on baby teeth and non-biting surfaces of your teeth.

Gold inlays and onlays
Gold fillings can be used in most areas of your mouth. An inlay is placed within the biting surface of the tooth because of its small size. An on-lay, on the other hand, can cover a larger area of your tooth. Your dentist will prepare the gold filling in the laboratory after taking impressions of the prepared cavity. Gold filling is the most hard-wearing and long-lasting filling material as it doesn’t tarnish and provides excellent strength. However, this type of material is more expensive.

Porcelain inlays
Porcelain fillings are colored to match your natural tooth. Your dentist will use digital technology (CAD-CAM) to create perfectly fitted porcelain inlays. This delicate process can be done in only one or two visits. This type of filling material is also long-lasting and hard-wearing. But then again, it can be quite expensive as compared to other filling materials.

How long does a temporary filling hurt?

When it comes to temporary filling pain, rest assure as your dentist will likely numb your tooth before using a dental drill or laser. Thus, the procedure doesn’t usually cause any discomfort or pain. Moreover, temporary tooth fillings are generally easier to remove. However, suppose you don’t return to get your permanent filling. In that case, your temporary filling material will gradually break down and expose the cavity. This will make the tooth more prone to infection.

You might experience mild pain after a temporary filling, but that’s normal and temporary. So how long should a filling hurt? Generally, pain and sensitivity will likely resolve within a few days or weeks. But sometimes, tooth pain after temporary filling can be due to other causes that need treatment as soon as possible.

So if your temporary filling hurts or you’re experiencing symptoms, such as redness, fever, or swelling, call your emergency dentist right away.

How long should I wait to eat after a filling?

If you’re thinking, “Can I eat after a filling?” your concern is right. We understand how hard it can be to eat after filling.

So back to your question: can you eat after a filling? Well, the answer is slightly more complicated. It depends on what is your temporary filling material made of. As different filling materials require separate time to harden.

While you can eat after cavity filling, it is crucial to be very selective about eating after filling to avoid unnecessary irritation or pain.

How soon can I eat after a filling?
In most cases, it is best to wait until the soreness and pain reside before eating. It is better to eat before the treatment to resist craving after a tooth filling.

With that said, how long you should wait is dependent on what you plan on eating. You can eat soft, room temperature food after an hour past the tooth filling procedure. However, too cold or hot foods may not be a good option. Furthermore, you should avoid eating foods that require chewing for a while. Make sure you consult your dentist to find out the best time to eat after a filling.

So now you know whether you can eat after getting a filling or not. It is essential to note which foods you need to avoid.

Foods not to eat after a filling
Generally, it is a good idea to avoid hard foods that require a lot of chewing. Also, too hot or really cold foods can cause unwanted irritation in the affected area and delay your recovery time after the dental filling. Lastly, you need to avoid acidic foods, as the mouth is much more prone to infection after a filling.

Temporary fillings need care
It is vital to observe post-treatment care to make your dental filling material last longer without any complications. Your dentist will place the temporary filling and inform you not to put too much force on it. Although no fixed time is mentioned, the best temporary filling for a tooth should last up to six to eight weeks. It will gradually break and fall out with time.

Following the dentist’s advice will save it for a little longer time. But eventually, the fillings need replacement. Few tips to take care of temporary fillers are;

  • Add soft food to your diet; avoid sticky and hard items like nuts and candies. Chew softly and try to use the other side of your mouth to cut food.
  • Brushing is necessary for oral hygiene, so using a soft bristle, do it gently.
  • Avoid flossing the tooth, which has a temporary filling as it might pull it out.

Final Words

A temporary dental filling is an answer to a few dental procedures, yet how long do temporary fillings last? The team at Pearl Shine Dental is glad to help you. Whether it’s temporary or permanent dental solutions, we do what is best for our patients. To schedule, your appointments give us a call at 281-477-7200.