Dental Tips Blog

Apr
17

Have You Tried the Dental Filling-Crown Hybrid, Yet?

Posted in Fillings

When you get a cavity, your options usually include either a filling or a crown.

Did you know that you could get the best of both worlds?

There are dental filling- crown hybrids that many dentists use to restore and enhance teeth. They’re called inlays and onlays.

How Do Inlays and Onlays Work?

Inlays and onlays are called indirect restorations as opposed to direct restorations.

Direct restorations are fillings, which are packed directly into your tooth in one sitting. But an indirect restoration is based on a mold taken of your prepared tooth. The restoration is carved from a material (usually tooth-colored porcelain) and then that piece is cemented into your tooth at a later date.

This process is very similar to that of placing dental crowns. The only difference is that crowns cover the entire tooth while inlays and onlays replace a part of it.

So, inlays and onlays are strong like dental crowns but more conservative like fillings. This makes them the perfect hybrid for repairing teeth that need more support than a filling can give.

The hybrid restorations are called inlays when they replace a part of the “valley” in a molar. They become onlays when they have to replace part of a cusp or edge on a tooth.

Does Your Tooth Qualify for an Inlay or Onlay?

If you have a cavity that needs treatment, then an inlay is a great option. Some patients opt for an inlay even when their tooth doesn’t have much damage simply because they want a stronger and more lasting treatment.

Ask a restorative dentist about inlays and onlays the next time they recommend a filling.

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

Apr
17

Dentists Debunk the “Soft Teeth” Myth

Posted in Fillings

Everyone on your dad/mom’s side of the family has “soft teeth” so that explains why you get so many cavities and need lots of dental fillings.

Or does it?

What Soft Teeth Really Are

There is a condition that causes soft tooth enamel. It’s called amelogenesis imperfecta and it’s a tooth development disorder. The complication results in unusually small dark-colored teeth that are prone to damage.

According to one estimate, only 1 in 14,000 people in the United States have this condition, so it’s not a common thing to have actual “soft teeth.”

If your teeth look normal otherwise, then that means there’s something else making you prone to tooth decay.

The Cause of Tooth Decay

Cavities are caused by a kind of bacteria that feed on the sugar you eat. These germs turn this sugar into acid, which wears holes into tooth enamel. More bacteria move into those holes and continue eating away at teeth.

Everyone has this kind of bacteria in their mouths. So why do you get more cavities than most people you know?

There are a few lifestyle factors that can increase your cavity rate.

Perhaps you need to brush and floss more to keep up with the bacterial growth. Your diet might be high in sugars and acids that speed up the decay process. Maybe you have dry mouth from a medication that you take. Or you may have put off treating a cavity long enough that the contagious infection has spread to infect other teeth.

Whatever the cause, it’s probably not due to soft teeth! Visit a dentist to find out how you can lower your risk for tooth decay and prevent more cavities in the future.

Posted on behalf of:
Montevallo Family Dentistry
711 Wadsworth St
Montevallo, AL 35115
(205) 665-2224

Apr
14

The Truth About DIY Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Filling your tooth at home may seem like the easy way out when you want to save a buck or skip a trip to the dental office.

But DIY fillings aren’t the miracle solution they may seem to be.

DIY Dental Filling Kits Can Be Dangerous

Without actual dental treatment experience, you could put too much patch-up material in your tooth, damage your it further, or accidentally swallow something you shouldn’t.

Additionally, you can’t just cover over a cavity with filling material and call it good. Tooth decay is an active bacterial infection, and the cavity will only spread underneath the filling if a dentist doesn’t properly clean out the decay before filling your tooth.

You’ll Pay More for a Job that Wasn’t Done Right the First Time

Using a cheap DIY kit to fill your tooth may feel like a smart move. But you can end up spending more money for an actual dentist to repair the damage done by a kit you bought online.

Temporary Fillings Are Just That – Temporary!

There are plenty of products available in drugstores that are labeled as temporary dental cements. These kits contain a quick-setting filler and instructions for filling a tooth when you’re in a pinch.

But these kits are temporary for a reason. The cement isn’t the same kind of long-lasting filling material you’d get in a professional treatment. It only holds up for a limited amount of time (like while you’re away on vacation.)

Temporary cements are not substitutes for real dental fillings. They just tide you over when you’re in a situation where you can’t see a dentist.

Visit your dentist to learn more about the importance of professional dental fillings and alternatives that might be available.

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

Apr
9

Does It Hurt to Get a Filling?

Posted in Fillings

When you hear “dental filling” you might think “pain.” But that’s only because you need a filling to repair a cavity, which is painful.

Cavities are often painful because they are holes that expose the tooth’s nerve to uncomfortable elements in the mouth. That nerve is very sensitive to sweets, hot and cold temperatures, and acids. Decay removes some of your tooth’s protective layers and jeopardizes the nerve.

Getting a dental filling is what will help your tooth to feel better. It patches up the hole, to restore the insulation around your tooth’s nerve.

But does it hurt to have decay removed and filled?

Why Fillings Don’t Hurt

You will be numb for the entire filling process. Your dentist will give you an injection of anesthesia that dulls your tooth to pain. While the physical removal happens, you won’t feel more than a little pressure.

Cavity preparation removes only the rotten part of your tooth to keep the hollowed-out hole as small as possible.

The dentist then puts in the filling to seal off the opening left behind. Your patched-up tooth will be ready for action almost immediately after your appointment.

After the Filling

Even after your numbing injection wears off, you shouldn’t feel any pain. The only potentially painful part is the fact that your tooth nerve was exposed to food and air temperatures. The filling plugs up the opening and fixes that problem.

Some people experience a little sensitivity soon after getting a new filling, but their teeth quickly adjust.

It is very unusual to experience discomfort after getting a tooth filled. If you do, contact your dentist to have your restoration checked.

Posted on behalf of:
Buford Family Dental
4700 Nelson Grogdon Blvd. NE #210
Buford, GA 30518
678.730.2005

Mar
13

4 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Dental Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Are any of these facts news to you?

  1. Mercury Fillings Aren’t Poisonous

Amalgam (silver) fillings that contain mercury are not considered dangerous, so there’s no need to panic if you still have metal restorations.

The mercury in metal fillings can’t harm you, since inhaling a mercury vapor is what’s really toxic to humans. Your restorations don’t give off enough vapor to cause any toxicity. But if you’re still worried about them, your dentist can offer a safe removal method.

  1. The Oldest Known Dental Fillings Are Roughly 13,000 Years Old

In 2017, archaeologists at the University of Bologna discovered a human body that had teeth with evidence of dental work dating around 13,000 years old. Two front incisors appeared to have holes in them that were drilled with stone tools and then filled with a tar-like mixture.

  1. White Fillings “Move” with Your Teeth

Tooth-colored composite dental fillings are made from a material that contains a combination of plastic resin and glass. The result is a strong restoration that bonds with teeth and also moves with them.

Your teeth feel hard, but they actually expand and contract on a microscopic level with temperature changes. Metal fillings expand and contract too rapidly and this extreme activity can damage teeth from the inside. But white fillings move at the same rate natural tooth structure does, making them much a much more gentle and conservative restorative option.

  1. Dental Fillings Are Preventable!

Dental treatment doesn’t have to be inevitable. By cutting down on your sugar consumption, using fluoride toothpaste, and practicing good oral hygiene, you can lower your risk for needing a dental filling.

Talk with your dentist about other preventative dental treatments like sealants and fluoride varnish.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064
770.422.8776

Mar
3

Do These 6 Things Before Bed Each Night to Lower Your Risk for Tooth Decay

Posted in Fillings

Say goodbye to tooth decay by adding a few important steps to your evening routine.

  1. Drink a Glass of Water

A hydrated mouth is key to keeping enamel strong and kicking out cavity-causing bacteria. Water can also help neutralize food acids from your dinner.

  1. Floss

Flossing prevents cavities between teeth. When you floss at bedtime, you’ll probably be in less of a hurry than if you did it in the morning.

  1. Brush for at Least Two Full Minutes

Don’t shirk! The longer you brush, the greater your chances of scrubbing away every bit of plaque that causes decay. Any plaque you leave on your teeth before bedtime will work all night long to wear down enamel.

  1. Don’t Rinse Out the Toothpaste!

It’s tempting to rinse out the foamy bubbles after you brush. But you’re better off leaving that residue there after spitting, since ingredients like fluoride keep benefitting your teeth while you sleep.

  1. Rinse with Fluoride Mouthwash

If your dentist recommends it, swishing a fluoride rinse for about a minute is a good way to strengthen your tooth enamel against bacteria acids.

  1. Varnish Weak Spots

Use an anti-sensitivity toothpaste as a varnish or condition on weak areas. Sensitivity toothpastes help strengthen enamel and deliver fluoride where it’s needed. Dab a little paste on exposed tooth roots, sensitive teeth, and dental fillings before you go to bed, and leave it there without rinsing.

Take advantage of the evening hours before bed to thoroughly clean and strengthen your tooth enamel. Your teeth (and bank account) will thank you for needing fewer fillings! Ask your dentist for more tips on preventing cavities.

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill,  South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055

Mar
3

5 Signs You Need a Dental Filling

Posted in Fillings

You woke up with a toothache and now you’re terrified that you need a filling.

What are some of the signs that you may need dental treatment?

  1. Broken Old Fillings

Do you have any existing fillings that are in bad shape? Damaged dental work should be repaired or replaced completely to protect your tooth. Chipped, stained, or missing restorations are a good sign that you could use a new filling.

  1. Dark Stain on Your Tooth

Not all cavities are brown or black, but an unusual spot of stain on your tooth could indicate an area of decay that needs to be filled.

  1. Tooth Sensitivity

Does your tooth zing painfully when you breathe in cold air, sip on a hot drink, or chew on something sweet? Tooth sensitivity is a sign that your tooth could be damaged by decay and your nerve is now a bit exposed to the elements.

  1. Food Getting Stuck in Your Tooth

If you have a cavity, then you may get food stuck in the hole every time you eat. This can lead to sensitivity, bad breath, and a bad taste in your mouth.

  1. Floss Catching on Your Tooth

If you floss on a regular basis, you’ll know something is wrong when the floss gets stuck between teeth where it never got stuck before. Snagging floss can be an indication that you have a cavity eating a hole into the side of your tooth.

Think You Need a Filling?

The best way to find out for sure whether or not you need a filling is to see your dentist. Your dentist can visually examine your tooth and check it with x-rays for earlier, less-invasive treatment.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

Feb
17

Are Dental Fillings Magnetic?

Posted in Fillings

You might worry about having magnetic dental fillings since such materials set off things like metal detectors. You’d hate to hold up airport security just because of one or two filled teeth.

Or could getting metal fillings on opposite sides of your mouth seal your teeth shut with the magnetic force? It may sound far-fetched, but it’s a real concern that some people do have… Read the rest of this entry »

Feb
17

4 Smile-Healthy Summertime Snack Ideas for Kids

Posted in Fillings

With warm weather comes the need for refreshing and energizing fuel to keep little bodies healthy all summer long.

Here are a few simple snack ideas that you can offer your kids without raising their risk for tooth decay. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb
17

5 Benefits of Chewing Gum

Posted in Fillings

Some people think chewing gum is a rude or an unprofessional habit. There are, however, some surprising oral health benefits to popping the occasional piece of gum.

Lower Cavity Risk

Choose a gum that contains xylitol, a sugar substitute, and you can actually reduce the population of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth which means fewer fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations. Read the rest of this entry »

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