Sedative fillings are short-term
When a tooth is painful due to decay, or when a tooth's nerve becomes inflamed, a sedative filling can be an effective, short-term treatment. The filling soothes and protects the tooth until it is ready for the final restoration.
Sedative fillings often contain oil of eugenol, which is a mild pain reliever, and zinc oxide, which has some disinfecting properties.
We begin by numbing the area to make you comfortable. Depending on the size of the filling and which tooth we're working on, we may also place a rubber dam to protect your mouth and throat while we work.
Then we use the handpiece to remove any decay and shape the tooth, so it will securely hold the filling. We place the sedative filling material into the tooth, and then we'll have you bite down to adjust the height of the filling. The material hardens over the next several hours to become waterproof and seal out bacteria.
The next step
Sedative fillings are temporary. Since they cannot protect your tooth for the long term, we'll make an appointment to place a final restoration when the pain and inflammation in the tooth have calmed down.