Dental Tips Blog

Jul
12

How Long Will a White Filling Last You?

Posted in Fillings

In talking about white or tooth-colored fillings, most people are referring to composite resin restorations.

Composite fillings have become popular because they are:

– Kind to natural teeth

– Aesthetically-pleasing

– Mercury-free

These time-tested and sleek restorations can last as long as 10 years, but it depends on how well you take care of your tooth in the meantime.

Comparing White and Metal Fillings

Because composite resin isn’t as hard as metal, it can’t hold up to the wear of bite force for quite as long. White fillings usually last for 5-7 years, which is about 30-50% as long as metal ones do, on average. That being said, newer materials are enabling white fillings to last longer than ever before.

A Happy Medium?

You’ll have to talk with your dentist to find out which restorative material is right for your smile. This means weighing the pros and cons of both metal amalgam and composite resin fillings.

One middle-ground option could be porcelain fillings.

Also called “indirect fillings,”or “inlays and onlays,” porcelain restorations are designed outside the mouth and then cemented into the prepared tooth like a puzzle piece. These fillings give you the nice look of white teeth, but they are more durable than composite and tend to last about as long as metal fillings.

The possibility of a porcelain filling could be worth looking into.

Make Your Composite Fillings Last

In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to make the white fillings you have now last as long as possible. The most important thing you can do is practice great oral hygiene to prevent new decay from affecting your entire smile.

Visit your local dentist to find out more about getting the most out of your dental work.

Posted on behalf of:
Salt Run Family Dentistry
700 Anastasia Blvd
St. Augustine, FL 32080
(904) 824-3540

Jan
5

How to Keep Your Tooth-Colored Fillings White

Posted in Uncategorized

Metal fillings, while sturdy and reliable, are gradually being phased-out by minimally-invasive tooth-colored fillings.

Gone are the days of smiling with shame when you remember how much metal is flashing in your mouth! Made of white composite material, tooth-colored fillings will stay discreet unless they become discolored.

What can you do to keep them nice and bright?

Maintain Excellent Oral Hygiene

Over time, the margins of fillings can collect stain. With thorough and frequent brushing, you can avoid the buildup that creates a permanent discoloration. Rinse often after eating, too. Swish with a bit of water after meals and use a fluoride rinse after brushing to reinforce the tooth around the edges of fillings.

Avoid Heavy-Staining Foods

Dark beverages like coffee, tea, and red wine are notorious for making white fillings stand out more than they’re supposed to. Keep these drinks to a minimum if you want to keep your fillings white.

Cut Out Tobacco

Tobacco will stain many dental restorations just like it does natural teeth. If you want a white smile, then work on cutting tobacco use out of your life completely. Your health will benefit from the choice, as well!

Dream Big!

Sometimes, a white filling just isn’t enough.

You can get small fillings on front teeth, but if these stain, they will be the first things people notice when you smile. To enhance the appeal of your smile, you might want to cover up old fillings on front teeth with dental veneers.

Visit your dentist for a complete dental checkup and to find out which restorative options will benefit your smile the most.

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

Sep
15

Three Ways White Fillings Strengthen Your Teeth

Posted in Fillings

You already knew that white composite fillings looked good, but did you know they could actually be better for your teeth? It’s true. Here are 3 of the biggest reasons why you should consider a composite filling the next time you have a cavity:

#1 – They only require minimal tooth alteration

Some types of fillings have to be held in by a wedge shape that is created inside of the tooth. This is done by removing tooth structure that may not have had anything wrong with it in the first place. Composite tooth colored fillings are minimally invasive. That is, only the damaged part of the tooth needs to be removed. The material is then bonded directly to the remaining enamel and stays securely in place. This makes white fillings smaller and maximizes the amount of healthy tooth enamel that you still have.

#2 – They release fluoride

Fluoride minerals inside of the material are gradually released after the filling is placed. This process can last for an extended period of time. The result? Teeth that aren’t just free of a cavity, but teeth that are now stronger than they were when the filling was completed. Other types of fillings can get recurrent (repeat) decay around them, but composite fillings can go longer without this additional risk.

#3 – You’re essentially “re-building” your tooth

Because composite material fuses directly with tooth enamel, it doesn’t act like a patch on a pair of jeans. Rather, it’s like you’re re-building the tooth completely and giving it a brand new surface. Other types of fillings can’t bond directly to the tooth, and may be more susceptible to developing recurrent tooth decay around them.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park

Google

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

Google

Nov
7

Three Kinds of Dental Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Fillings are not just for cavities. Fillings are also used to repair cracked, broken or worn down teeth. There are several dental filling materials available. Teeth can be filled with gold, porcelain, silver amalgam and composite resin. Your dentist will discuss the best treatment plan for your situation.

Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings

  • Due to the ability to closely match the color of surrounding teeth, most patients prefer to have tooth colored fillings placed.
  • Composites chemically bond to tooth structure. This has an added benefit of providing further support.
  • Composite fillings wear out sooner than amalgam fillings. Lasting at least 5 years compared with amalgams lasting 10 to 15 years.
  • Due to the layering process to place a composite filling, your appointment can take up to 20 minutes longer.
  • Expense of composite fillings is higher than amalgams. Be sure to check with your insurance. Most insurance will pay at a downgraded pay scale for composite fillings vs. amalgam fillings.

Silver-Colored Amalgam Fillings

  • Amalgam fillings have the advantage of lasting twice as long as composite fillings.
  • This type of material is very strong.
  • Amalgam fillings are less expensive than composite fillings. Insurance does not downgrade payments on the amalgam fillings.
  • Amalgam fillings may detract from the beauty of your smile and can make a grayish tint to the surrounding tooth structure.
  • Often, more tooth structure must be taken away to make the space large enough to hold the amalgam filling.

Indirect Fillings

Indirect fillings are similar to composite fillings. These are made in a dental laboratory and require two dental visits before being placed. This type of filling is considered when there is not enough tooth structure to support a filling and the tooth is not damaged to the point of needing a crown.

Consult with your dentist as to the advantages and disadvantages of each type of filling for the specific tooth in question.

Posted on behalf of Group Health Dental

Oct
7

The Beauty of Tooth-colored (White) Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Dental fillings are a time-tested method of restoring teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay and cavities.

Originally, cavities were most commonly repaired using metal amalgam.

However, recent dentistry advances have caused a shift in the material used to repair cavities. Tooth-colored fillings are now the top choice of most dentists. In fact, tooth-colored fillings are a more natural looking and safer alternative to metal amalgam fillings. Additionally, tooth-colored fillings:

–         Are completed during a single visit,

–         Offer long-lasting results

–         Fully restore the function of your tooth

More Benefits of Tooth-colored Fillings

One of the most popular benefits of tooth-colored fillings is that your dentist will use composite material that most closely matches your tooth’s natural shade. Therefore, other people won’t be able to notice or see your fillings.

Furthermore, tooth-colored fillings don’t contain mercury. This is perhaps the greatest safety benefit of choosing tooth-colored fillings. However, there is still much debate within the dental industry as to whether the mercury in metal amalgam fillings actually poses harm to a patient. Nevertheless, in order to eliminate potential health risk, many dentists choose to only use tooth-colored fillings for their patients.

Additional tooth-colored benefits include:

–         Bonding that promotes the preservation of your tooth’s natural structure

–         Restoration of  your tooth’s strength and function

–         Reduction of tooth sensitivity

Contact your dentist about tooth-colored fillings if you have one or more cavities requiring treatment. Also, many patients choose to have their old metal amalgam fillings replaced with tooth-colored fillings. Be sure to ask your dentist about this option as well.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.

Google

Jun
6

Look Natural with Tooth Colored Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Whether or not they are toxic is still a subject of unresolved debate, but for many dental patients silver colored amalgam fillings are a thing of the past. Today’s metal-free fillings are made of composite materials such as resins and porcelains that look just like natural teeth, not only in how they look but also in how they function.

So much more is known today about the make-up of the various parts of the tooth (enamel and dentin) that materials have been developed to imitate their natural properties of interaction and bonding. The old metallic or amalgam fillings were pressed into the tooth cavity and relied on friction stay in place.  Amalgam fillings provide good protection for the tooth, but that protection is limited since amalgam fillings do not actually bond with the tooth. Modern dental composite resins comprised of plastic and silica are used in non-amalgam fillings and they look and perform much like the natural dentin. Likewise, dental porcelains replace the enamel function of the tooth.

These discoveries have helped to create more efficient ways of bonding tooth colored fillings to the teeth that are actually stronger and more protective. First, a resin is used to seal the dentin surface from bacteria and sensitivity. To this protective coating, another composite resin for shaping and rebuilding the tooth surface can be safely bonded. There are three methods for the application of these materials, depending on the specific situation, such as how much of a tooth requires restoration. Your dentist will be able to help you make the best choices for your individual needs.

Fillings are really about restoring teeth, literally rebuilding them, in recreating a tooth that not only looks good but responds more naturally and comfortably when in action, just like a healthy tooth.

Posted on the behalf of Sarah Roberts

Google

Feb
23

Advantages of White Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Composite fillings, also called “white” fillings are made of a tooth-colored material. They blend very well with the natural tooth and are able to be placed in a variety of areas that traditional silver fillings are not. The color of the filling is chosen from various shades to match the teeth surrounding it.

Because they bond directly with the tooth, white fillings require less tooth preparation than silver amalgam fillings. They can be used on smooth areas like root surfaces in areas of gum recession or enamel abrasion. Composite fillings help to recreate lost tooth structure or protect areas of the teeth that should not be exposed. Because silver fillings are wedged into the tooth, they treat the decay but do not help regain lost strength from the missing tooth enamel. However, white fillings do because they bond and repair the tooth.

White fillings can be used in any area of the mouth. While they are obviously used for the front teeth, they may be used for back teeth as well, so they won’t show when you laugh, talk or smile. You can also have your silver fillings replaced with a white composite filling for a whiter smile.

As fillings become old and need to be replaced, it is easier to replace white fillings than silver ones. Each time a tooth needs to be re-prepped for a silver filling, the tooth becomes less and less stable. Composite fillings are less invasive, so this means the tooth can be retreated easier without necessarily having to place a crown on the tooth.

There is no risk of white fillings leaking metal color into the surrounding enamel or gum tissue. They hold their bond very well. As silver fillings age, the discoloration often leaks into the tooth and is difficult to treat with whitening products.

Simple bonding procedures such as correcting a gap or misshaped tooth also use white filling material. It is a fairly inexpensive cosmetic procedure that can make a huge impact.

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