Are temporary tooth filling kits ever appropriate?
It is almost inevitable at some in our lives that we will break off a part of a tooth. This may be because of decay or it may be that we have accidentally bitten into something harder than our teeth can take. In most cases, this will necessitate having a filling. With tooth filling kits now being available at high street chemists though, does this necessarily mean a trip to the dentist?
Well, first of all, these kits are actually ‘temporary’ tooth filling kits and as the name suggests, should only ever be used as a “last resort” solution. Whilst these kits contain a basic amalgam mixture, the same as most dentists use, however careful you are, it is almost impossible to put the filling mixture in correctly to give it any significant strength at all.
As the name suggests, these temporary tooth fillings kits are really only for use in an emergency. If for example, you break a part off your tooth at home, you should make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. These kits are really for if you are stranded a long way away and it may be some time before you can get to see a dentist, perhaps someone may pack a temporary tooth kit when travelling as an emergency back up for example.
As well as not being as secure as when fixed by a dentist, it does also mean that your tooth will be filled with a metallic colour where as there are options to have tooth coloured fillings at your dentist. These are especially beneficial for the more visible front teeth and are increasingly also used in the rear teeth as the material becomes stronger.
Under no circumstances should you avoid seeing a dentist even if you have fitted the temporary tooth filling as this will need to be removed and filled correctly to avoid it breaking or allowing food to become trapped causing delay which is likely to lead to an extraction.
Indeed, it may be that the self diagnosed ‘filling needed’ may actually have been caused by decay and more of this may need to be removed or perhaps the tooth is beyond repair and an extraction may be needed and a replacement tooth such as a denture or dental implant be used in its place.
So our advice would be to use a temporary tooth filling kit only in a real emergency but be sure to contact your dentist as soon as possible to get the filling replaced, preferably with a modern, tooth coloured filling to ensure that your teeth remain in the best possible condition.