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Emergency Dental Treatment - Why use temporary fillings?!



Junior member
Jun 7, 2009
I apologise if this has already been asked, but I couldn't see it anywhere on the forum.

Recently I have been suffering from extremely painful toothache and managed to get an emergency appointment today at a dental centre (as my own dentists is not situated in the place I am currently living and I was unsure when I would be able to get there to be seen). After believing that my toothache was caused by my wisdom tooth that is currently poking its way through my gum, I found that I was in need of a filling and a replacement filling in another tooth. So the dentist gave me fillings and only after doing the treatment told me that these were temporary fillings! I am slightly miffed by this as I have paid for treatment that I am going to have to go through again (and will have to pay even more for). Being a student and living on an extremely low budget at the moment, this is not ideal!

After looking on the internet for answers, I have found that temporary fillings are usually used in emergency treatment. I was just wondering why this was the case? The temporary fillings seemed to take about the same amount of time as a normal filling (unfortunately I have had to go through quite a few in my time!), so why didn't they just use a normal filling? I could understand that maybe they wouldn't have the right materials for a normal filling, but as the place i visited is apparently a "new state of the art dental clinic" and is attached to a hopsital, this doesn't seem as likely!

I hope you can answer my query. I'm far to inquisitive for my own good. :)
Excellent question..to my knowledge not asked before......have no idea....tempted to say sounds like some NHS nonsense since I thought temporary fillings are usually used where pain is too severe to complete treatment or similar.
That's exactly what I thought! I was wondering if it was a way of getting more money out of the patient!

After googling lots of different variations of my question the only thing I could find is that temporary fillings are use in emergency dental situations. But why?!

Since the numbness wore off, my mouth has been in quite a bit of pain. I'm not sure if this is due to the injections or the fillings, but my jaw feels quite stiff and it feels as though if i've been punched in the mouth! So going back to the dentist to replace my temporary fillings (and pay even more cash towards it, grr) is not in my best interests at the moment as my mouth is tender enough as it is!

I've never been in so much pain after a filling before, so I'm quite miffed! I just don't think my mouth can go through much more in such a short amount of time! :(
Sometimes temp fillings can be better because they can be sedative towards an inflamed nerve, so they can help to calm things down where a permanent filling wouldn't. They are also usually a fair bit faster to place than a permanent filling.