Many drugstores sell temporary dental filling material. This material is very similar to what dentists use as a temporary filling material. It contains an ingredient known as “eugenol” that helps soothe the nerve of the tooth until you can have a permanent filling or crown completed. Now this material can be very difficult to get to stay in place, even as a dentist! Please keep that in mind before you try putting a temporary filling material in. There are multiple factors that decide whether the material will stay in place.
The first is the shape of the area you are trying to fill. If it has several walls around it will usually stay in place pretty well. When you are missing a large portion of the tooth, this material will really struggle to stay in place.
It also matters whether there is tooth decay in the area you are trying to fill. Areas where you’ve just lost an old filling will generally retain the filling material better than an area that has a large cavity. This soft tooth structure doesn’t allow the material to stick very well.
The last factor is how you place the material. Here are the steps I recommend for placing the material…
Placing the filling material
Make sure to dry the tooth area you are trying to fill. Water is going to make it not stick as well. Place the material in place, use your finger to quickly shape it, bite up and down a couple of times, and then let it set up all the way. This usually takes a couple of minutes. If you keep messing with it while it is setting, you’ll dislodge the material and it definitely won’t stay in place. Once in place, be very careful with it. No sticky or hard foods as these can remove it or break it.