Temporary Fillings and Restorations: Do You Really Need Them?

Dental care has moved from the treatment of issues that affect the strength and integrity of your teeth to encompass the cosmetic appearance of a person’s bite and smile, too. These days many people want to feel confident when they speak or smile because they reveal bright, perfectly straight, and evenly spaced teeth.

Unfortunately, in reality, few people have their teeth in such a condition, and most of them are often found in the movie and television industry. For ordinary people, they need several treatments such as teeth whitening, bleaching and even teeth straightening to have the appearance of perfect teeth.

But even before resorting to different permanent dental restorations, you might need a temporary restoration. The restoration will protect your teeth from pulp damage and tooth sensitivity while the dentist fabricates a final appliance. The temporary restoration also allows you to retain your bite and speech while awaiting the final appliance or procedure.

A few dental clinics use temporary restorations as blueprints of the perfect contours and sizes for your permanent dental appliances. This saves you from costly adjustments in the future. If you are considering a treatment that would require a temporary appliance, you need to understand what temporary dental restorations entail.

Techniques of Fabrication

Temporary dental restorations can be fabricated through an indirect or direct technique. The direct technique involves an in-office fabrication in your mouth by your dentist. In the indirect technique, a dentist makes an impression of your teeth and gums, then sends it to a lab. While it takes time, the indirect fabrication method generates an appliance that closely resembles your permanent one. As such, the dentist can order the permanent appliance in the same dimensions as the temporary one if it is a comfortable fit.

Materials Used

girl smiling

The common materials used for temporary dental restorations include pre-formed metal or plastic, light or self-cured resins, cement, and resin composites. Most lab-fabricated restorations are made of cast metal, and self or heat-cured acrylic. A few dentists will use pre-formed crowns. These come in one size and are made of acrylic or polycarbonate. Though inexpensive, they are often not a perfect fit.

Placement and Removal

After placement, your temporary restoration should stay in place until you have the permanent restorations. If they fall off before then, your jaws might shift and affect the fit of your permanent restoration. The temporary restorations are often attached to your gums using short-term cement. This cement has a soft and creamy consistency that will come off easily when it is time.


Most dental clinics do not ask an extra charge for temporary restorations. This is because they are considered a part of your overall bite or cosmetic restoration. Even so, you might part with an extra fee if the appliances are fabricated by a contracted lab and when they need multiple adjustments. The length of time the restoration will be in place also affects its price to some extent. When in place for an extended period, you might need regular cleanings and adjustments that will cost you.

Sometimes temporary dental restorations are required if you want a picture-perfect smile that is worthy of the silver screen. But that doesn’t mean you can treat them as the real thing. Remember, they are only temporary in nature, and not following your dentist’s orders could lead you to more expenses.

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