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Sedative Filling (IRM)


If you have a rather large cavity, you can remove the bulk of the decay and place an “IRM” filling (Intermediate Restorative), also known as a sedative filling. This will often slow or stop the progression of decay and help the patient feel better. It also may allow the tooth time to recover and lay down secondary dentin in 4 to 6 weeks (sort of a second layer of scar tissue), sometimes eliminating the need for pulpal treatment like a root canal. Once the tooth is recovered and less inflamed, any remaining decay is removed and the final restoration (filling or crown) is placed. You mix the powder and the liquid together to make a kind of play dough material which is placed in the tooth. It hardens up in a few minutes. It usually lasts a pretty long time, but still will eventually wash out due to the biting forces and wear.

Chewing and Eating

  • If we used anesthetic during the procedure, avoid chewing until the numbness has worn off completely.

Brushing and Flossing

  • Brush and floss normally. If your teeth are sensitive to hot, cold, or pressure, use desensitizing toothpaste. If sensitivity persists beyond a few days, please call us.


  • Your gum tissue might be sore, to reduce any discomfort or swelling, rinse your mouth three times a day with warm salt water. Use about one teaspoon of salt per glass of warm water. It’s normal for your gums to be sore for several days.*

When to Call Us

  • Please call our office if your bite feels uneven, you have sensitivity or discomfort that increases or continues beyond three or four days. We make our best effort to adjust your bite, but at times further adjustments may be required. Please feel free to call our office if you have any questions or concerns.

* If you suffer from high blood pressure, please consult with your physician before using a warm salt water rinse.


Dental Studio At Rosslyn
6065 Arlington Blvd

Falls Church, VA 22044
Phone: 703-495-2441
Fax: 703-807-2652

Office Hours

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