Dental Tips Blog

Oct
30

How Long Will My Filling Last?

Posted in Fillings

After all that expense, that new dental filling had better stay in for a good long while!

However, the unfortunate nature of dental toot filling restorations is that no tooth restoration will last indefinitely. All they do is help you keep your natural tooth whole and healthy for as long as possible. How long you hold onto your new filling depends in part on what it’s made of.

Gold Fillings

Gold fillings are not as common these days, but they used to be popular. In fact, gold was the only tooth filling option at one time. If you happen to get a gold filling, you might see it last you up to 30 years. This metal works very well with teeth and doesn’t break down like other materials. The main downside is that most folks don’t like the look of gold teeth.

Silver Fillings

A silver metal filling is far cheaper than gold. It’s actually the cheapest and easiest material to place. These fillings are also falling out of popularity because they can cause tooth fractures over the 15 years you might expect them to last. They also contain traces of certain elements that some people prefer to avoid.

Composite Fillings

Tooth-colored composite fillings suit teeth quite nicely and look great, too. No one ever has to know how many fillings you have if they all blend seamlessly with your natural tooth color. You may have to replace a white filling within 5-7 years of getting it. Some last a decade or more.

The good news is that scientists are constantly working to find more lasting treatment alternatives. Who knows? One day we might not need dental fillings,at all. Talk with your dentist about which tooth filling material is best for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Clearwater Dentistry
3006 Gulf to Bay Blvd
Clearwater, FL 33759
727-608-4361

Feb
14

Should You Replace Your Fillings?

Posted in Fillings

It would definitely be nice if your dental fillings could last forever.

The reality is, however, that no dental restoration can withstand a lifetime of use. From crowns to fillings to veneers, all will need to be updated at some point. This is because once your natural tooth structure is compromised, it has to be protected. Artificial protection wears away with time.

So yes, your dental fillings will eventually need to be replaced.

But how do you know when the time is right?

Reasons to Replace Restorations

People may opt to update their fillings at will just because they want prettier ones that blend in with their teeth. Classic metal restorations stand out and even the white composite ones can stain and break down. You may also choose to replace your fillings for cosmetic purposes.

Do you grind or clench your teeth? That habit contributes to premature wear on the fillings and teeth in many patients. Like them, you should reinforce weak spots with fresh strong restorations and then look into getting a guard to protect your new dental work.

Traditional amalgam metal fillings contain mercury. While this element isn’t enough to cause you any issues, some people like to clean out all traces of it, just to be safe.

When Not to Replace

After examining your tooth, your dentist may feel that it’s not worth replacing the fillings. Some of the reasons may include:

  • Your tooth is not structurally strong enough to support a larger filling
  • The filling is still holding up well
  • You have better option for restoring and supporting a tooth

If you’re in doubt about the integrity of your current fillings, plan a visit to your dentist to get a professional perspective.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

Jan
21

Why Don’t My Fillings Cost the Same?

Posted in Fillings

You might expect that dental fillings should cost the same across the board.

But there are actually some good reasons that they don’t.

Types of Filling Material

Gone are the days of solid metal fillings. Restorations now come in different materials for different purposes and each has its own price:

  • Composite resin (white)
  • Glass ionomer
  • Porcelain
  • Gold

Influence of the Local Economy

Dental offices located in metropolitan areas tend to be pricier in all areas of care. The cost of dental materials and labor will increase just as the cost of anything else does. Advances in technology for the dental field will reflect in the cost of things like dental restorations.

This means that the filling you got fifteen years ago will probably be far cheaper than one today.

How Large is Your Filling?

Even though your filling is one solid piece, it may cover different aspects of your tooth. Not all fillings are simply poured straight into the top part of your tooth. A dental restoration may need to replace the corner of a tooth or cover a portion of the side of the tooth.

Generally, fillings are priced based upon the number of surfaces they reach. A two-sided filling will cost more than one that just goes on the top of the tooth. A restoration that extends from one tooth side, over the top of the tooth, and overlaps to the other side will cost more than the two-sided one.

It makes sense – a multifaceted filling takes more time, skill, and material than others.

To find out what restorations are going for in your area, you’ll need to contact your local dental office. Schedule a visit for a cavity-check.

Posted on behalf of:
Marvin Village Dentistry
8161 Ardrey Kell Road
Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 579-5513

Nov
16

Signs Your Filling Needs To Be Updated

Posted in Fillings

It’s an unfortunate truth that fillings do not last forever. Your natural tooth structure is ideal. Only by keeping a natural tooth complete and clean can you make it last forever!

Once a cavity compromises a tooth, things tend to go downhill from there.

The goal of restorative dentistry is to keep your smile beautiful and comfortable, stalling or slowing that downhill process. A classic way to restore your tooth is with a minimally invasive filling.

Fillings replace gaps left by cavities and inhibit further decay. Although they fit very snugly in a tooth, fillings are still not quite part of your teeth.

Bacteria can still get in. And with time, the pressure of biting can cause changes in the shape of the filling and create gaps in the tooth around it.

As filling material ages, it breaks down. Metal tarnishes, composite resin stains, and both can chip away. Updating your fillings as soon as possible will minimize the amount of damage to your tooth.

Your filling is probably ready for an upgrade if you notice:

  • Unusual sensitivity in the tooth
  • Dark staining around edges of the filling
  • A toothache or sensitivity
  • Fractured pieces of dental restorations in your mouth or the food you chew
  • An unusually sharp edge on or inside your tooth

Your dentist will remove traces of the old filling along with any signs of returning decay. Your tooth will then be ready to receive an up-to-date, clean, comfortable, and secure new filling.

It’s never a good idea to just ignore a damaged or leaky filling! When the filling is compromised, then it simply can’t do its job of protecting your tooth. If you notice any of the above signs, schedule a visit to your dentist without delay.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Jan
25

4 Symptoms that Your Old Metal Filling is Wearing Out

Posted in Fillings

Years ago, metal fillings were commonly used to restore teeth that had cavities.  Now, composite or tooth-colored fillings are typically used for filling decayed teeth.  Since metal fillings are becoming “fillings of the past,” it is important to have your dentist specifically examine your old metal fillings to ensure they are sealed to your tooth properly and in good condition.

Since bacteria causes cavities and everyone has bacteria in their mouth, it is important for the dental filling to have a smooth surface with edges sealed to the tooth.  This will prevent the bacteria from leaking under the filling which would cause further decay.

Dentists will typically want to replace old metal fillings with the following symptoms:

  1. A cracked or chipped filling, which allows bacteria to leak under filling
  2. The filling’s edge is not sealed to tooth, allowing bacteria to leak and creating rough edges around the restoration
  3.  Worn out fillings, which can lead to dental decay around its margin
  4. Decay seen underneath a filling, with the help of an x-ray 

 Can metal fillings cause problems in my teeth?

Yes.  Since heat causes metal to expand, amalgam fillings expand with the heat in your mouth.  When this filling expansion occurs, this can cause fractures or cracks in your teeth.  At that point, a dental crown would need to be placed on the tooth to keep the fractured tooth together.

Do you have silver-colored fillings?  Visit your dentist, where you can have all of your metal fillings examined.  After your exam, your dentist can tell you what your best restoration options would be.

Posted on behalf of:
Family & Cosmetic Dental Care
2627 Peachtree Pkwy #440
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 888-3384

Jul
24

How Long do Fillings Last?

Posted in Fillings

Keeping your smile healthy will reduce the amount of treatments you need later on, like dental fillings. When you do need a dental filling you need to know the best way to care for it so that it will last as long as possible. Depending on the type, size and location of your filling, most of them last for several years after they have been placed.

Prevent New Decay from Forming Around Your Filling

Just because a cavity was removed and a filling placed into your tooth doesn’t mean a new cavity can’t form around the filling. Most people think this won’t ever be a problem, but it’s a reality. You need to change the dietary and oral hygiene habits that led to the cavity in the first place, or else the filling will have a new, larger cavity around it in no time.

Have X-Rays Taken at Least Once a Year

A clinical exam isn’t always enough to screen for leaky fillings or recurrent decay. With x-rays your dentist can see around the filling and areas that aren’t visible during the exam – giving you the opportunity to address problems when they are smaller, such as adding fluoride to your routine to stop decay before it spreads.  

Watch Out for Grinding and Clenching

If you are prone to clenching or grinding your teeth due to stress (or even chew on ice regularly), your tooth and filling may start to wear out, causing worse damage than there originally was. Wearing a bite splint or mouth guard can prevent the excessive wear and save your smile (and your tooth) for several more years.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

Jul
24

4 Signs Your Filling is Wearing Out

Posted in Fillings

It’s an unfortunate fact of life and dentistry: restorations wear out. By keeping up with your restorative needs, however, you can maintain a high standard of living so that your life isn’t interrupted as frequently by dental discomfort.

You can be alert to key factors that indicate you should upgrade your filling so as to improve the quality of your dental health.

 Recurrent decay

If a filling is so aged that it has microscopic leakage around the edges, it is possible for bacteria to infiltrate and reinfect the area around the filling. This kind of decay is called recurrent, and may be noticed on an x-ray before you are aware of any symptoms.

Sensitivity or soreness

Whether due to a filling loosening because of decay or changes in the shape of the tooth, sensitivity around a tooth could be a sign the filling is failing to protect the tooth.

Change in shape of the filling

A tooth is subjected to pressures of chewing over time, and even more so if grinding/clenching is involved. These intense pressures affect the fit of a filling, and can result in small fractures in the tooth.

Metal fillings

These are less-common, than they used to be. There is no reliable evidence that the mercury content of amalgam (metal) fillings is high enough to pose a health risk, but some people gain peace of mind by updating their metal fillings to the more modern and esthetic tooth-colored composite resin fillings.

Talk with your dentist soon about the possibility of updating your existing fillings to prevent bigger problems down the road. Changing your filling out ahead of time can eliminate the need for more comprehensive treatments and keep fillings smaller.

Posted on behalf of:
Carolina Comfort Dental
5511 Raeford Rd #255
Fayetteville, NC 28304
(910) 485-0023

Apr
29

Three Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Just like a patch on a tire, fillings in your teeth will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Waiting until it’s too late could result in the tooth breaking down and requiring more invasive therapy. Here are a few things to watch out for:

Rough Edges Around the Tooth

Your tongue can feel even very minor changes when it comes to your teeth and the restorations inside of your mouth. The slightest alteration will catch its attention all day long. If you feel a rough area or something that has a sharp surface against your tongue, there’s almost a 100% chance that something is going on. 

Sensitivity

Leaky margins around your filling can cause you to be sensitive to certain temperatures or types of foods. Even pressure could bother it. If you feel a slight twinge during a meal, then don’t ignore it. Most likely your filling is beginning to creep away from the tooth. 

Something “Doesn’t Feel Quite Right”

You would be surprised to hear how many people come into the dentist without any specific symptoms other than the description that something feels a bit “off.” Lo and behold, something really is! If your tooth seems different, then have your dentist check it out.

Regular check-ups and x-rays can help your dentist monitor the health of your fillings, catching the worn ones before symptoms start to show up. Be sure to visit your dentist at least every 6 months, or sooner if you feel changes inside of your mouth. The quicker you get access to care, the simpler and more affordable it will be to correct the issue that has come up.

Posted on behalf of:
Rowe Family Dental Care
2320 Satellite Blvd NW #120
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 622-5909

Mar
7

How Long do Fillings Last?

Posted in Fillings

If you thought dental fillings were supposed to last forever, you’re not alone. Most people don’t realize that just like patches on a tire, fillings can wear out as well. Depending on the type of filling and how large it is, it could have the potential to last a decade or even longer.

Some fillings last 7-10 years; others may last as long as 30. Taking proper care of them and getting preventive oral care on a regular basis can extend their lifespan. For instance, excessive grinding or clenching could cause the filling to pop out or break well before it would have failed on healthy teeth. Wearing a bite splint at night to prevent excessive wear is an excellent way to insure the life of your fillings and your teeth.

As fillings begin to wear out or leak, it is important to have them replaced in a timely manner. This prevents bacteria from seeping under the edges and causing newer, bigger cavities underneath. Do not wait until the filling breaks or the tooth hurts. This will only result in more extensive dental treatment, such as a larger filling or even a crown and root canal. Earlier care will keep your dental needs to a minimum.

If it’s been a decade or longer since you’ve had your fillings placed, it’s important to have them checked by your dentist twice a year through visual exams and dental X-rays. Preventive cleanings and fluoride treatments will keep the tooth enamel around your filling stronger, helping the filling to last even longer. Dedication, prevention, and proper oral hygiene will help extend the life of your fillings as long as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955

Feb
3

Why Does That Filling Keep Popping Out?

Posted in Fillings

Have you ever had a filling done that just seems to keep falling out or popping off for no reason at all? You’re taking good care of your teeth, eat right and don’t have any cavities – what could be causing it? There is actually a very logical explanation why your filling constantly needs to be replaced, and there are some simple steps that you can take to keep it from happening again.

Uncontrolled clenching and grinding will cause flexion and tension to your teeth. Even though tooth enamel is extremely strong, it can still become susceptible to overuse and stresses that are more than what are used during everyday biting and chewing. Bruxism (clenching and grinding) not only causes abnormal wear, fractures, or chipping in the enamel – it can also cause fillings to break or even pop off of the tooth.

So what can you do to stop it? The first step is having your dentist check your occlusal patterns to see if certain areas are getting more wear than others. If you have crowding or an irregular bite, it might be worth discussing orthodontic therapy to correct your bite and lengthen the lifetime of your smile. If stress from everyday life is making you clench or grind your teeth, it’s worth your time to invest in a custom fitted occlusal guard or bite splint. Wearing a splint prevents the teeth from clenching against each other while also training the jaws to rest when they ought to be.

The modest investment that you make in a bite splint will save you hundreds to thousands of dollars in dental care later on. If you suspect that you’re beginning to suffer wear, it’s time to have your smile checked by your dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Springhill Dental Health Center
4620 Spring Hill Ave
Mobile, AL 36608
(251) 343-1521

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