A temporary tooth repair kit can help when you need a dental repair but can't get to a dentist right away. Whether you've lost an old filling or crown, or a tooth has chipped or broken, a DIY tooth filling kit can temporarily restore the tooth and ease any pain.
Of course, a dental repair kit isn’t a long-term replacement for a dentist. Any dental issue that requires you to do a homemade temporary tooth filling will always require a dentist visit at some point, and the sooner the better. But if you can't get an appointment at this minute for whatever reason, using a dental repair kit could be a solution.
DIY fillings and other home dentistry isn’t ideal and there are some risks involved. So to help you make an informed choice about emergency dental kits, we’re going to explore:
- How to get an emergency tooth filling and other treatments
- Which at-home tooth repairs may be possible
- Whether home repairs can be effective
- How to use a filling or crown repair kit
- Where to buy a broken or chipped tooth repair kit in a hurry
So whether you're looking for a lost filling fix or temporary dental cement for a broken tooth, we'll help you figure out what you need. We'll also answer some other common questions about home fillings and other temporary repairs.
If you'd prefer to make an appointment with a dentist right now you can call 800-794-7437 where you'll be connected to a live operator who will put you through to a dentist near you.
Table of contents
- 1 How do I get a temporary tooth filling and other emergency dentistry?
- 2 What teeth repairs can be done at home?
- 3 Do emergency dental kits work?
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 FAQs
How do I get a temporary tooth filling and other emergency dentistry?
It is always best to leave certain things to the professionals, and dentistry is one of them. Things don't always go as planned though, and getting an appointment with a dentist in your area can take time.
However, your first port of call, if you have a dental emergency, is to speak with a dentist. They’re best placed to decide if you need urgent care.
The following symptoms are indications that you have a dental emergency, and you need to see a dentist ASAP:
- You’re in a lot of pain
- You experience swelling
- There’s a lot of bleeding
- You're having trouble breathing
- You’ve had a trauma that damaged your teeth
Our emergency dentist article explains more about what constitutes an emergency and what to do if you are in one of these situations.
Not everything is urgent though, even if it is uncomfortable or unsightly. Sometimes you can use short-term fixes like dental filling kits or temporary tooth kits to get you through to your next appointment.
What teeth repairs can be done at home?
Dentistry is a complicated skill that takes years to perfect. You might think you know what the problem with your teeth is, but only a dentist can tell you for sure. Saying that, if you can’t get to one right away there are some issues you can deal with yourself.
Although permanent tooth filling kits in the US are available, we advise against them. There are a lot of risk, including making the cavity in your tooth worse because bacteria gets stuck under the filling and keeps destroying your tooth.
We’re going to go through the main temporary dental filling and crown fixes you can undertake at home while waiting to get to your dentist.
Tooth fillings at home
There are a few reasons that you might need to perform a home-made tooth filling. You can reach for a temporary home tooth filling kit to ease your suffering if:
- Your tooth filling fell out and a temporary fix is needed
- You’ve chipped a tooth and it’s causing pain on your cheek or tongue
- You develop a cavity that causes pain and sensitivity
A filling repair kit contains a putty-like material that you compress into the spot in question using the tool provided. Each brand of dental filling kit works slightly differently, so be sure to read all the instructions for the one you buy.
Temporary tooth filling kits can be quite effective short-term, but they do have some downsides:
- The color is very unlikely to match your teeth
- They’re tough to use on your front teeth
- They might affect your bite when used on your back teeth
- You may have tooth decay that needs to be treated
- If bacteria gets under the DIY tooth filling, any decay will accelerate
All of this means that a temporary filling kit should be – as the name suggests – only a temporary fix while you wait to see a dentist.
Dentek Temparin Max
One of the most popular products for completing a tooth cavity filling at home is Dentek. The Temparin Max kit that they make comes with:
- Temparin Max to do the filling
- A no-mess applicator tool
A reviewer on Amazon said about the Dentek filling kit:
“Ever been on vacation and lost a filling or cracked a tooth? It's a hassle, especially if there is pain involved. Or, ever had the same thing happen but have to wait to see the dentist because of low cash flow? This inexpensive product may help and relieve any pain. And, as my dentist recommended it to me over the phone when I had a filling come out of a tooth while on vacation, I trust it.”
This is the type of kit that’d be handy when you travel, since most travel insurance only covers you for dental pain relief. If you lost a filling while overseas, you’d be on your own without a filling repair kit.
It's also a good solution if you are looking for an emergency dental kit to treat a problem that has just occurred since you can get it delivered very quickly from Amazon.
Dentemp tooth repair
Dentemp is the next best selling brand on Amazon after Dentek. It has very similar packaging to Dentek and is used the same way. Dentemp claims that you can eat on your temporary filling just 60 minutes after applying it. It doesn't get quite as positive reviews as Dentek, but there are definitely some happy customers. If Dentek hasn't worked for you in the past, Dentemp is an alternative you may want to try. Here's what one reviewer says:
“This stuff for me it worked and did the trick and it has stayed on from the day I got it and up to now as I type this review this day”
Here, a dental assistant tells you how to use these types of repair kit until you can go see a dentist.
Temporary chipped tooth repair at home
A chipped tooth can be really annoying. The sharp edges left behind can rub against your cheek and cause ulcers or graze your tongue as you eat and speak. So if this has happened to you, you're probably wondering how to fix a chipped tooth at home.
Chipped tooth repair is something that a dentist would be able to do in a few different ways, but when that’s not an option right away you can use a dental repair kit on a broken tooth. It should smooth off the sharp edges for you and relieve any sensitivity you might have from deeper parts of your tooth being exposed.
You might struggle to do a major repair on one of your front teeth with a filling kit. The material doesn’t bond to your teeth in the same way a professional dental glue does, and it’s not as strong. Sticking to soft foods will help it last a bit longer, but it's best to try and avoiding biting with the tooth altogether.
If you've lost all or most of a front tooth, a temporary tooth kit may help in the short term. We've got more information about these later on.
Using a crown repair kit
A crown is designed to be a long-lasting tooth restoration. It should fit snugly over your tooth and last for 5 years or more if you take good care of it. It’s possible for a crown to come loose if:
- You take a knock to your jaw
- You’ve been grinding your teeth
- There’s decay under the crown
- It's a temporary crown
- It’s an old crown and the adhesive is wearing away
Whatever the reason, you should see a dentist if your crown is loose or has fallen out completely.
Buying temporary crown cement over-the-counter
This Glass Ionomer Cement (GIC) is a temporary dental cement for a broken tooth and includes two parts that you need to mix to create the cement. It may not look like much but it's the best selling crown cement on Amazon. One customer says:
“First of all, I used to be a dental assistant so I do know the products dentists use. This particular product is absolutely wonderful, when used correctly. Follow the instructions properly and you will have no Problems. I had a filling come out of my lateral Incisor, and this product work great! I did one filling and coat, then about 10 minutes later, did one more coat. It hold perfectly and looks great! I would definitely reccomend this product!”
Do note that despite this reviewer's optimism, these crown and filling repair kits are only a short-term fix.
Loose dental bridge
If your dental bridge becomes loose, or falls off entirely, you can use the same dental cement mentioned above or a dental repair kit for a temporary fix until you can see your dentist. You can purchase dental bridge cement over the counter like this one here from amazon. For a loose or detached bridge, you should make an emergency dentist appointment.
Temporary tooth replacement kits
Losing a tooth is never a pleasant experience. A back tooth falling out is maybe a little less traumatic since people are less likely to see it all the time. Losing a front tooth is a whole different matter.
Having a missing tooth can be the result of many things:
- Your denture got lost or is broken
- You had an accident that knocked it out
- It has fallen out because of decay, gum disease or infection
So it makes sense if you're wondering how to make a fake tooth at home. To temporarily fill the gap and make it less obvious that you're missing a tooth, you can buy a temporary tooth kit.
A popular product designed for this purpose is InstaMorph moldable plastic replacement teeth. It works by melting down plastic beads and forming them into the shape of the missing tooth. You should take the tooth out while you sleep, but it can last for weeks or even months if made correctly.
“This is the best $10 that I have ever spent in my entire life!!!!”
—is how one reviewer on Amazon described InstaMorph, going on to say—
“This product is so magical. I got my confidence back 1000% and I can now smile with my whole heart. This is a lifesaver until I can afford to pay for my dental work in February. So easy to work with this product, I made the perfect tooth on the third try & I just used the same beads by dipping them back into the hot water, remolding until I felt it was perfect!”
The tooth you make probably won't look completely natural, but it should make you less self-conscious until you can get to a dentist for a longer-term solution. You can read more about temporary tooth replacement options in our guide here.
Do emergency dental kits work?
If you're wondering how to fix a broken tooth at home, or temporarily replace a filling, you're also probably wondering if these kits work. Although not a perfect solution, doing a tooth filling at home or other urgent work can be effective. You will need to take great care when eating though; hard, crunchy, chewy and sticky foods are probably best avoided if you want your dental repair to last.
The main purpose of temporary filling kits and other emergency DIY treatments is to relieve pain and improve your aesthetics. A home-made temporary tooth filler might last for a month or two, but it will eventually wear down or fall out.
The biggest risk with using a broken tooth repair kit is that you delay getting treatment for any underlying problems. In particular, tooth decay will get worse over time if you don't see a dentist. Additionally, a crown cemented at home will only last so long before it needs to be professionally re-cemented or replaced.
Also, there’s a chance that you could make your DIY dental filling too big, which could cause lasting problems. When you get a filling at the dentist, they make sure that your bite is ok after the work is finished. If you make your temporary filling too big, your teeth won’t sit right and you could end up with:
- Jaw pain
- Wobbly teeth
- Damage to surrounding teeth
To help you decide whether to do your own tooth repair before you can get to a dentist, here is a summary of the pros and cons:
Pros of DIY temporary fillings
Cons of DIY temporary fillings
Temporary pain relief
Can easily fall out or break if not done correctly
Could cause long term problems if not done right
Relatively simple to use
Increased chances of decay under the filling
Stops cosmetic concerns
Difficult to get an exact color match
Money, time, and life can all get in the way of getting to the dentist right away. Using one of the quick fixes mentioned here should do little harm if you use them as intended. It's also not a bad idea to have an emergency dental kit as part of your travel essentials, since problems always seem to unfold at the worst times!
If you’re in a lot of pain, you experience bleeding, or there’s a lot of swelling, be sure to seek immediate medical attention.
Can I get a permanent dental cement over the counter?
Many people as this question or if they can get temporary tooth replacement over the counter. Although there are places to buy kits that claim to offer a permanent solution, they’re best avoided. Tooth cavity filling at home could trap bacteria under the filling, and leaving a home-made filling there for years could cause untold future problems.
How to glue a tooth back in your mouth?
The short answer is that you don’t. If a tooth comes out completely, you may be able to gently place it back in the socket while you arrange emergency dental care (unless it's a child's milk tooth). But you should never try to glue a tooth back in. An alternative is to store the lost tooth or any broken pieces in milk or your own saliva while you seek dental care. It may be possible for the dentist to save the tooth.
If going to a dentist isn’t an option in the immediate future, you can use a temporary filling kit to cover the problem from a cosmetic perspective.
How much will I pay for an emergency dentist appointment?
When you’re in a lot of pain, bleeding a lot, or have lots of swelling you should get to a dentist rather than trying to use a home dental kit. Most dental insurance plans cover emergencies. Otherwise, you can call a clinic that offers emergency care for reduced-cost or sliding-scale prices.
You can read our article on what to do if you need to go to the dentist but you don't have insurance for more options—chances are, with some searching, you'll find something that works for you.
How long does Dentemp last in your mouth?
Dentemp or Dentek, and any other home tooth repair kits are for temporary use only. If you use either of these tooth repair kits to fix a tooth, you should make sure to see a dentist within 48 hours.
The Guardian: The rise of DIY dentistry: Britons doing their own fillings to avoid NHS bill. Consulted 4th May 2020.