How to replace dental fillings

A lost or broken dental filling can cause tooth sensitivity and pain. It's important to get to the dentist as soon as possible to have the filling replaced. You can utilise products made for home use to create a temporary filling until you are able to get to the dentist. This stopgap measure might decrease the pain and sensitivity, and it will prevent food particles from getting into the tooth cavity that had been protected by the missing filling.

Purchase a temporary filling kit. They are available in the aisle with toothbrushes at most drugstores and many other retailers. One popular brand is DenTek Temparin temporary filling material.

Rinse the affected tooth with warm water to remove any food particles that are present. This is important because placing a filling over food particles can result in infection.

Use a cotton swab to dry the area where the temporary filling will be placed. The filling material will not stick if the tooth surface is wet.

Use the applicator provided in the temporary filling kit to pack the filling material into the tooth. If you have the filling, pack only a small amount, then place the filling on top. Otherwise, pack the filling so it is level with the top of the tooth.

Bite down to set the filling. If it hurts, that means too much filling material was applied. To correct that, remove some of the filling material, and bite down again.

Use a toothbrush to remove any excess filling material. It is normal to notice some residue in the mouth after placing the filling. Simply rinse the mouth with warm water to get rid of it.


Do not pack filling material too tightly, or pain might result. Perform this procedure in a well-lit environment. Check with a dentist before attempting this procedure on a child.


Do not place filling material in a tooth where there is active bleeding or infection. Don't use heavy force with the applicator when applying the filling material. That could cause bleeding and increase the potential for infection in the tooth.

Things You'll Need

  • Temporary filling kit
  • Cotton swabs
  • Toothbrush
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About the Author

Cheri Pearson is a professional writer/marketing professional, with experience in copywriting, technical and marketing communications, articles, and ghostwriting for private and corporate clients since 1994. She has a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Illinois, and a background in medical device marketing/product management in the renal industry.