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    Thread: How long will a temporary filling last?

    1. #1
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      Default How long will a temporary filling last?

      I've had a temporary filling in one tooth for about a month, and I wondered how long I can expect it to hold out for? It was a tooth that was supposed to have RCT, but my dentist thought I may be better with an extraction, hence the temporary filling. I haven't decided which to go for yet. My dentist told me it was impossible to say exactly when it might last until: she estimated 6 months or so, but she was clear it could be ok for longer, or I might have problems sooner. So I realise there's probably no exact answer to this, but I wondered what the 'usual' might be?

      Also, what does it actually mean for it to 'stop working' or 'fail' - what will happen? Will it come apart? Or will it be intact but I'll get toothache?? I've realised I've no idea!

      Really, I want to know how long I can prolong dealing with it for - I'm going through a very very busy and difficult time in my life, and would prefer to wait until hopefully things are a bit easier before I deal with this. Especially as I need to go through the process of finding and getting a new dentist, before I have any further treatment, and I really can't face/don't have time for that at the minute. However, if I might suddenly need treatment at any point, it would be even worse if that happened and I had to suddenly find a dentist and be treated without getting used to them first. So if it's likely I'll need something doing sooner rather than later, then I suppose I'll need to get dentist-searching/trying now, so I'm 'ready'.

      Hope that's clear. Thanks for your help.

    2. #2
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      Default Re: How long will a temporary filling last?

      Hey
      Unfortunately it is difficult to provide you with a good and responsible answer.
      I would go with your dentist estimation (6m). I would not recommend you waiting more than a month though.
      What could happen? usually the temp feeling fall down, of maybe the tooth breaks down. The worst thing that can happen is that nothing is done, that you do not feel any problem with the temp filling and after long enough time it would be difficult to treat the tooth.
      Dr. Daniel Finkelman
      DMD (2005); BSc Psychology (2007)
      www.TheHagueDentalCare.nl

    3. #3
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      Default Re: How long will a temporary filling last?

      Hey Dr Daniel, thanks for answering...even if it's not what I wanted to hear! But I had suspected I probably should do something sooner rather than later, I just really hoped I wouldn't have to! My review appointment with my dentist is scheduled for June, which will be about 3.5-4 months after she placed the filling, so presumably she must expect it to be ok for that long?? Although I've been told to ring if I get any problems in the meantime.

      Can I ask, just to clarify, what would be the first sign to look out for that the filling may be starting to break/fail? Would a bit come off, or might the whole thing suddenly come off at once?! Sorry for another question, but the thought of a sudden, enforced dental visit terrifies me, espeically when at the moment that would mean having to urgently find somewhere to go, then being treated by someone I'd never met before!! (I can't afford to be treated at my current dentist's any more , but I've not found anywhere else yet.) So if there are 'warning signs' to look out for - even if it means having to keep looking in my mouth - then that would help me a lot to know.

      Thanks.

    4. #4
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      Default Re: How long will a temporary filling last?

      I've just had another thought - my dentist recommended an extraction, so perhaps it's likely she's set the review appointment date with that in mind - ie, the filling should last until then, and it doesn't matter if the tooth deteriorates in the meantime. I hadn't thought about that - I suppose I'd kind of assumed that whatever she did that day had sort of 'paused' the tooth: I knew it wasn't fixed and wouldn't get better, but I hadn't really twigged that it might/would continue to get worse. So are my chances of saving the tooth, if I did choose that option, getting smaller the longer I leave it? Sorry if this is an obvious question, but it really only just occurred to me!

      Thanks.
      Last edited by Pianimo; 31st March 2011 at 19:33. Reason: Spelling

    5. #5
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      Default Re: How long will a temporary filling last?

      In my experience:

      I had a temp filling on a tooth that had a root canal, and I did not get it crowned for a few years. My advice to you is don't wait that long! (I didn't have insurance). Eventually, the temp filling broke down and I had a giant hole pretty much, and then part of the tooth broke off, prompting me to get the crown.

      Five years later, and that tooth has been extracted. I am sure the damage I did to my tooth by waiting so long to crown it did not help; and also I am not sure the dentist who did the crown was the best; my tooth completely rotted underneath the crown (and I had no way of knowing, because there was no pain due to the RC) One day the crown came off and most of the tooth came with it . If you do decide not to extract, be careful with what you eat as well. I continued to eat all the things I normally would, including lots of hard and crunchy things without a second thought, which also could have contributed to the tooth failing because the crown chipped about 6 months before it fell off. "Failing", to me means, the tooth underneath cannot be saved. It could deteriorate so badly, it can't be restored, it could break off, etc.

    6. #6
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      Default Re: How long will a temporary filling last?

      Thanks, that's really helpful. In a nutshell, I suppose: there's a chance I could leave it for ages, but I really shouldn't! lol

      Having read your post, I've also realised I'm not actually sure exactly what state my tooth is in as things stand. I know my dentist was supposed to do a root canal, but when she got in and cleaned things up (whatever that means! ...there are issues with being a mouth-phobe - I want to know what's going on, but I also don't! ) she thought there wasn't much tooth left, so she just cleaned it out and put the temp filling in. She called me in another day, so we could talk about my options when I wasn't sedated, and then left the decision to me whether to go with the extraction (as she recommended), or the original plan of RCT. She did give me anitbiotics the day she did it, in case I needed them, but I never did (the tooth hurt for a couple of days, then stopped). I assume that's a good thing?!

      Anyway, if it there's a real possiblity it is getting worse all the time, I guess I'd better start dentist hunting again. Boo.

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