Dental Tips Blog

Jun
10

White Fillings

Posted in Fillings

White fillings are a great way to improve the health of your smile while also taking the appearance of your teeth into consideration. Not only are white fillings free of metal and mercury, they can be used in a variety of areas throughout your mouth that conventional amalgam fillings cannot.

One of the most unique advantages of white, tooth colored fillings is that the material bonds directly to the porous enamel of teeth. This creates a bond that allows structures to be filled or re-built, such as on the biting edges of chipped front teeth. It also means that less tooth preparation is needed during a filling. Rather, a minimally invasive approach is used that only removes damaged tooth structure and protects a larger amount of healthy tooth enamel.

The color of your white fillings are carefully matched to the exact shade of your natural tooth enamel. This allows the finished restoration to blend seamlessly across the tooth, as if no treatment was performed whatsoever.

Old fillings can typically be replaced with white fillings as they begin to age, or due to aesthetic concerns. Both front and back teeth can be filled with composite material, as well as areas that require bonding, such as exposed root surfaces or gaps between the teeth.

Because white fillings are so much smaller, they help preserve your natural teeth longer than other types of fillings. But first, tooth decay must be diagnosed and treated as early as possible, to keep treatment even less invasive and more affordable. See your dentist for regular check-ups at least twice each year, as well as routine radiographs that can find areas of tooth decay while they are still in their earliest stages.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates

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Apr
6

The Benefits of Composite Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Tooth colored fillings may look better than silver fillings, but that’s not the only thing that they have going for them. There are several reasons why composite fillings are now the standard material used by dentists in their private practices.

They require less tooth preparation, allowing them to be smaller

Only the portion of the tooth that is decayed needs to be removed. The surrounding area is lightly conditioned and supports direct bonding between itself and the composite material. Metal fillings do not work this way, and require additional tooth structure to be removed so that they will be anchored into place by their shape.

They bond onto any surface

Unlike silver fillings that have to be held into place with wedged-shaped enamel, composite literally bonds to the pores of the tooth. That means they can be put on even smooth areas such as roots or on the edges of teeth where chips sometimes happen.

They can be placed on any tooth in the mouth

Because composite fillings look good and blend in with the tooth, they can even be used to repair decay or damage in the front teeth. If you have silver fillings that show when you smile or talk, you might want to ask your dentist about replacing them with composite ones.

There’s no mercury

Although silver amalgam has been used in dentistry for over a century, there are still some people that have reservations about the fact that a small amount of mercury is present inside of the metal alloy. With composite material there’s no link to the metal whatsoever, allowing people to avoid its use if they wish.

Posted on behalf of Randy Muccioli

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Feb
11

Albuterol Inhalers and Acid Erosion

Posted in Fillings

When we talk about enamel erosion, we often think about the foods or drinks we consume that are acidic on tooth enamel. Erosion is the chemical wear on healthy enamel that is caused when pH levels are lowered in the mouth. It causes sensitivity, visible removal of tooth enamel, and can lead to tooth decay and fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations. Something not often realized though, is that inhaled medications such as those in albuterol inhalers can contribute to enamel erosion as well.

Inhaling albuterol from a dispenser causes the medication to distribute itself over the dry surfaces of the front teeth. This medicine then sits on the teeth and due to its acidic nature will cause the erosion process to begin. Patients with uncontrolled asthma or that use inhalers on a frequent basis are at a high risk for developing severe dental damage in a short amount of time.

We’re not going to ask our patients to toss their inhalers, but there are a few steps that need to be taken to help reduce the impact that inhaled medications have on the teeth. Firstly, have the person rinse their mouth thoroughly with water immediately after taking the medication. Don’t brush, as that can just spread it around. Rinse for several seconds once or twice instead. The other important step is to use a topical fluoride each day, either a prescription gel from your dentist, or an over the counter rinse. This will help remineralize weakened enamel early on, and help prevent long-term damage or causing serious complications from occurring later on.

Always let your dentist know which medications you are taking, whether they are prescription or over the counter drugs.

Posted on behalf of Randy Muccioli

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