Bought a temporary home tooth filling kit to do a spot of DIY dentistry?

It’s easy to see why you would because a hole in a tooth can be exceptionally annoying. Food can get trapped inside, it can cause sensitivity and your cheeks can rub on the sharp edges. So naturally, you want to find a solution to the problem. But you must be careful as DIY dentistry is easy to do incorrectly, and this could lead to more damage than good.

Let’s find out how a home tooth filling kit could mess up your teeth.

1. The fillings are the wrong colour

photo of a home tooth filling

If you’ve ever bought a supermarket tooth filling kit, you’ll immediately notice they’re not produced for aesthetics. The material used is generally Zinc Oxide, and we don’t use this for long term teeth restoration (so much so I’ve not included it in my article about types of dental fillings).

These tooth filling kit materials are usually bright white or grey and can be strikingly obvious.

2. DIY fillings fall out

Home tooth filling kits aren’t bonded to your teeth like those placed by your dentist. They’re simply pushed into a cavity using your finger and only retained by locking into undercuts. This makes them highly susceptible to falling out.

When a tooth filling kit is placed on a front tooth, there is even less undercut available, rendering them hopeless.

3. The temporary fillings break easily

The DIY material used is soft compared to permanent fillings. So, if it’s used to chew on molar teeth then the fillings will wear down quickly.

And there’s no way of getting hold of what dentists use over the counter. So, all you’re doing using a home tooth filling kit is delaying the dental surgery trip you need to make anyway.

You must be careful with worn down temporary filling, as broken fillings can lead to leaking. Here, bacteria can penetrate the space and cause sensitivity and decay.

4. Home tooth filling kits don’t remove the decay

photo of tooth decay

You have a hole in your tooth for a reason. Do you have any idea what that reason is?

There’s a chance it could be decay and this is not fixed by solely placing a filling.

Decay needs to be removed or your tooth will continue to rot away. Only when the decay has completely gone can a filling be placed. If you place a filling over decay then you’re likely to have pain and could possibly lose the tooth.

5. Your bite may change if you leave the filling high

If you’ve had a filling by your dentist you’ll remember at the end you bite down on some blue paper. This is to check how your teeth meet together, known as your occlusion. It’s not easy to check your bite doing DIY dentistry at home.

Leaving a high filling can lead to unwanted tooth movements, jaw pain and headaches.

So if you shouldn’t use home tooth filling kits then what’s the solution?

Using a temporary tooth filling kit is unlikely to have any positive impact, or worse could cause further complications.

If your tooth breaks,  you lose a filling or experience any dental pain then contact your dental practice as soon as possible. The receptionist can advise you about temporary relief and will book you an appointment should you need it.

Should you not be able to get an appointment then contact NHS 111 for an emergency dentist in the UK.


AUTHOR

Dr Gareth Edwards Dentist AuthorDr Gareth Edwards BDS (Hons) MFDS RCPS (Glasg) qualified as a dentist with honours. Now practicing in the Bournemouth & Poole area, he provides general dentistry and has a keen interest in aesthetics and orthodontics.

 

Share