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Temporary filling

Discussion in 'Dental' started by Mikado, May 1, 2001.

  1. Mikado

    Mikado Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2001
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    I have had a temporary filling in one of my back teeth for almost two years now. I dont have dental coveage. The Dentist who put it in told me that it should last about a week. Is this normal or am I setting some kind of record?
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  2. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
    Moderator Emeritus Verified Expert 10+ Year Member

    Nov 30, 2000
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    Temporary fillings, are meant to be as the name implies, temporary. They are generally placed for a number of reasons, including time constraints, sedative effectives(one of the most common ingredients of temporary fillings is Eugenol which has a sedative effect on the nerve of the tooth), and sometimes finances. The problem with temporary fillings is that the seal that they create between the filling and the tooth is weak and subject to breakdown. This can quickly introduce the same bacteria that cause decay underneath the temporary filling in a place where regular oral hygiene can't hold them in check. This can cause rapid decay spreading and the potential that the decay can reach the nerve of the tooth, thus requiring a root canal.

    That not withstanding, a little history about temporary material. One of the oldest, and most common types is called IRM (Intermediate restorative material) which was developed by the military back in the Vietnam era as a quick in the field fix for soldiers. At that time it was commnoly colored with dye in either blue or red(as I remember when I was told about this, blue was a tooth that just needed restorative treatment, and red was a tooth that needed either a root canal or extraction). Today, IRM is just one color, white. If you ask some dentists that practice in VA hospitals even today, they still will see some Blue and Red IRM 30 years later!

    Word to the wise, get the temporary taken care of sooner than later. What may be a mater of placing a permanent(and less expensive) filling now, can in the future end up being an expensive root canal and crown or extraction in the future.
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  3. TheSlide

    TheSlide Junior Member

    Apr 26, 2001
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    Well, if youve had it for over a year, that must be one HECK of a temp filling!!! Provided you havent had any symptoms/complaints with the concerned tooth...... and drjeff, thanx for that bit of info! I didnt know that IRM woz connected to Vietnam! :)
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