Temporary Tooth Filling Guide

Help! My filling fell out, what do I do? Do I need to do anything if it doesn't hurt?

Okay, I'm sure you've been in one of these situations before:

  • You were eating dinner and then you heard a crunch.

  • After your meal, something feels sensitive so you run your tongue over your teeth and something feels like a cavity.

  • You wake up in the morning and noticed a missing cavity filling

If you've been in any of the above situations, you most likely noticed that your tooth filling fell out. Are you wondering what you should do since you are unable to get an appointment with your dentist right at this moment?

A temporary fix to this predicament would be to buy a temporary tooth filling material at your local pharmacy. This is an at home remedy that you can easily do, at least to hold you off until your dentist is able to see you.

Dentek temporary tooth filling
Dentek temporary tooth filling

Here is a list of Temporary filling materials available for purchase:

There are more but these are the most common. Just to reiterate these are just temporary fixes and you do need to see one of our dentists in long island city for a permanent composite filling.

How to place the temporary material at home

They are all used in the same way and we will describe it step by step.

  1. You should make sure your mouth is clean. Brush your teeth, floss your teeth, and use some mouth wash. This is to ensure there is no food debris stuck in the missing filling.

  2. Take some of the material out of the jar or tube and lightly roll it into a little ball.

  3. Place the ball into the cavity.

  4. Push the material further in with the tool they gave you.

  5. Now is the important step, take a Q-Tip and wet it. Use it to further push the temporary filling material even deeper in. Try to adapt to the sides of the tooth as best as you can. Try going from the front, the back, and the sides.

  6. After that, bite up and down. Open and close multiple times. Pretend like you are chewing something.

  7. Now bite down and grind side to side a couple of times.

  8. Repeat steps #6 and #7 until your "bite" feels comfortable.

  9. If the temp feels high, it means you did not do steps 6-7 well enough.

  10. If you have to, you can remove some of the temporary material as well.

The product will set and get hard after a few minutes but it won't be fully set until about 2 hours. Do not eat until the 2 hour mark is up. Once its set, you should feel some instant toothache relief.

What is this material made out of?

  • Zinc Oxide

  • Eugenol

  • Zinc Phosphate

  • Glass Ionomer

  • Intermediate restorative materials

  • Calcium Sulfate

  • Alumninum Phosphate

  • Petroleum jelly

  • Paraffin

If you are allergic to any of the above, you may not be able to use this product for tooth pain relief but please check the label to be sure because each brand may use slightly different ingredients.

Okay, that is great and all... my filling fell out but it doesn't at all. Do I still need to do something?

If it doesn't hurt then that is amazing! If you are able to get a dental appointment within the next few days, you don't have to do anything for it as long as you are able to keep it clean. This means that you should keep up on your brushing and flossing. In fact, you should be brushing your teeth even more often so that food doesn't get stuck in the cavity. If you get food lodged it there and you don't get it out, you do run the risk of it becoming real teeth decay.

Due to the reason above, even if it doesn't hurt you at all, if you are unable to see a dentist anytime soon, we do recommend to put a temporary there. You don't want it to become decay.

How long does the temporary filling last?

Great question, as stated on the product label, this is a temporary product. You will notice the restoration slowly start disintegrating with each passing day. This is because it was never meant to be permanent. The only way to get a permanent tooth filling is to see your dentist!

  • The rate of dissolving depends on the person and what types of foods they are eating.

  • It may be a few days and it could be a few weeks as well.

How do you take care of a temporary filling?

You don't have to do anything extra to take care of it. You brush it just like how you brush any of your other teeth. The only caveat is if the temporary is for a tooth filling in between the teeth. If that is the case, you may not want to nor should you floss in between your teeth. If you do, you may cause it to fall out again.

Is this store bought stuff legitimate?

The material you buy at the pharmacy is actually very similar to the ones dental professionals use. Believe it or not, your dentist may put temporary fillings in you! Here are a couple of scenarios:

  • If you are getting a root canal, the root canal specialist will put a temporary in so that it is easier for your general dentist to remove it. Your primary dentist will put in the permanent tooth colored filling.

  • If you are getting a tooth filling and the decay was very deep and close to the nerve. Your dentist may put some medicine and a temporary filling to see how your tooth responds. If it doesn't cause you pain, he can just fill it but if it starts causing you pain, you may need a root canal on it.


This definitely serves a purpose and it would be worthwhile for you to be aware of it. It is a great temporary fix and can be an at home remedy that may provide some instant pain relief.

But don't forget, you still need to eventually check back in with your dentist to let them know what happened!

23 views0 comments