A “sedative filling” is a temporary filling which can be used to repair a damaged tooth. The primary purpose of a sedative filling it to sooth the nerve and assist the tooth to repair itself. These fillings are used when a dental cavity is near the pulp (nerve) of the tooth, or when the final tooth repair is planned for a different dental visit.
Unlike permanent amalgam or composite fillings, sedative fillings are mainly composed of eugenol and zinc oxide. The natural properties of these two materials allow them calm down the nerve and begin its natural healing process.
If the sedative filling succeeds in fixing the inflammation of the pulp, a permanent filling will be placed onto the tooth. If the tooth does not improve, a root canal or other more aggressive dental treatment may be required.