Dental Tips Blog

Jan
3

Answers to Your 6 Biggest Questions About Dental Fillings

Posted in Fillings

You know what dental fillings are but somehow, they’re still a mystery to you because you’ve never had one! Clear up the confusion with these answers to six of the biggest questions about fillings.

  1. Why Do I Need a Filling?

Dental fillings replace tooth material that’s been lost to cavities. This reinforces the tooth and prevents the cavity from turning into an abscess or infecting other teeth.

  1. Do Dental Fillings Hurt?

Tooth decay can hurt, but getting a filling doesn’t have to. The dentist will ensure that your tooth is numb before starting to drill. You won’t feel anything more than a little pressure.

  1. Are Dental Fillings Expensive?

The cost of a filling depends on where you get it, which tooth needs the filling, how big the cavity is, and which material your filling is made of. You may have dental insurance that covers the entire cost of a filling. Ultimately, getting your tooth filled is cheaper than waiting too long and having a root canal or extraction.

  1. How Long Will My Dental Fillings Last?

Dental fillings typically last five to ten years. It all depends on how strong the surrounding tooth is and how well you take care of your fillings.

  1. What Are Dental Fillings Made From?

Dental restorations are made from a variety of materials including: silver amalgam, gold, ceramic, porcelain, glass, and plastic blends.

  1. Will Anyone Notice That I Have a Filling?

As long as you opt for a composite filling made from a tooth-colored filling material, no one will ever know it’s there!

Would you like to learn more about fillings? For the answers to your other questions about restorative dentistry, contact a dentist near you.

Posted on behalf of:
Riverwood Dental
3350 Riverwood Pkwy #2120
Atlanta GA 30339
(770) 955-2505

Jan
3

Why Your Tooth Feels Weird Right After Getting a Filling

Posted in Fillings

Dental fillings are supposed to make decayed teeth feel better. But discomfort after treatment is not unusual. Here are a few reasons why your tooth might feel strange after getting a filling.

It Takes Time for Teeth to Adjust

It’s not every day that your tooth is opened, cleaned, and filled with a foreign material. Your tooth may need some time to adjust to the new arrangement. Also, your brain and tongue may be fixated on the new material in your mouth. Until your body gets used to the restoration’s presence, you might be abnormally fixated on that are, making your tooth feel odd, even though it really isn’t.

Your Tooth’s Nerve May be Sensitive or Compromised

It can take time for the nerve inside your tooth to get used to the new filling material. Give your mouth a few days to see if it calms down. If the sensitivity doesn’t go away or if it gets worse, then this could mean that the nerve in your tooth has been damaged.

The Filling May Need Adjusting or Replacement

Does your new filling just feel too big? That could very well be the case. Some dental restorations end up a little too high for the teeth to bite together. If you notice difficulty closing your teeth, stinging tooth pain, or a sore jaw, then this could mean that a large filling is throwing off your bite.

Alternatively, there could be a flaw within the dental filling material that prevented it from binding with your tooth.

Contact your dentist to find out what could be causing the uncomfortable sensation if your tooth doesn’t feel better within a few days of getting a filling.

Posted on behalf of:
Smiles by Seese
610 Jetton St #250
Davidson, NC 28036
(704) 895-5095

Dec
24

“My Tooth Already Has a Filling, So Why Does It Hurt?”

Posted in Fillings

It’s disappointing and a little scary to realize your tooth hurts even after it’s already been treated. But filled teeth are still just as prone to toothaches as any other. Here are a few possible reasons why your filled tooth might hurt.

The Filling Needs Adjusting

Your mouth was still very numb when the dentist finished your filling. You may not have been able to tell at that point how it felt. But once the anesthesia wore off, your tooth may have hurt due to the restoration being too “high” and bumping the opposing tooth prematurely.

The Tooth Needs More Treatment

The cavity your dentist tried to fill may have grown close to the nerve of the tooth. It could be that your tooth needs a crown or even a root canal since a filling as the first attempt is insufficient.

Your Tooth Is a Little Sensitive

It’s common to have temperature sensitivity within hours of getting a filling. As long as it’s just a little sensitivity and not a full-blown toothache, your tooth will get better on its own.

The Filling Is Old

All dental restorations do wear out at some point. If you’ve had your dental filling for more than 5-10 years, then you’ve gotten your money’s worth out of it. It could be too worn and chipped to protect your tooth any longer, so you may need to change it out.

Your Tooth Has a New Cavity

Cavities can actually form more easily around fillings than on smooth tooth surfaces. If your tooth hurts several years after getting it filled, you may need to have it treated for a new cavity.

Call your dentist as soon as possible to find out why your tooth hurts.

Posted on behalf of:
Bayshore Dental Center
810 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd #2900
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 330-2006

Oct
20

Make Your Dental Fillings Last as Long as Possible!

Posted in Fillings

Making your dental restorations last isn’t difficult; they need the same care and attention that your natural teeth do.

Practice Excellent Oral Hygiene

Dental restorations tend to fall out prematurely due to decay. So brushing and flossing will prevent new cavities from forming around or under your fillings. The key is to be thorough. Floss every day and brush for at least two minutes twice a day.

Watch Your Diet

Acidic foods wear away tooth enamel. If your diet is high in acids, the enamel around your fillings can erode and make them pop out.

Sugar is another threat to fillings. Sugar fuels cavity-causing bacteria. Foods high in sugar, especially liquid or sticky carbohydrates, will feed the germs that can trigger cavity development under your existing restorations.

Wear a Mouthguard

An athletic mouthguard worn during sport activities will protect your crowns, implants, bridges, and fillings from damage should your mouth suffer an impact. A custom guard worn at night can spare your fillings the premature wear of a teeth-grinding habit.

Use Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral that remineralizes tooth enamel by replacing inferior minerals in the structure. The result is tooth enamel that’s immune to decay. Your teeth need extra fluoride in areas that are weak or prone to cavity development such as the edges of fillings.

You can get fluoride in toothpaste and over-the-counter rinses. Your dentist can also provide you with prescription-grade fluoride formulations to give your fillings a solid grip on the teeth.

Remember, too, to visit your dentist at least twice a year for dental checkups. Exams and the occasional x-ray will ensure that your dental fillings have many years left in them.

Posted on behalf of:
Sapphire Creek Dental
2180 State Hwy 46 W, Suite 106
New Braunfels, TX 78132
(830) 549-2014

Oct
20

What to Expect When You Get a Dental Filling

Posted in Fillings

Does dental treatment make you a little nervous? Here’s what you can expect the next time you’re scheduled to get a tooth filled.

Anesthesia to Keep You Comfortable

To prepare your tooth for treatment, the dentist will make sure it’s fully numb. He or she will probably start by putting a little numbing jelly on your gums. This will help you not feel the tiny prick of the needle as the anesthetic goes in.

After waiting a couple of minutes to make sure your mouth is anesthetized, the dentist will start work on your tooth.

Remove Decay

The first step in placing a filling is to clean away the compromised structure. Your dentist will use an extremely small drill to ensure all of the cavity is gone without harming the remaining healthy tooth structure.

While this process is happening, water spray from the tool can fill your mouth. The assistant will vacuum excess water with a small suction hose.

Filling the Tooth

After removing the cavity, the dentist will place a liner that helps insulate the tooth. Next, the filling material is carefully piped into the opening. The dentist shapes the filling to make it flush with your tooth and then cures it with a special light to harden it.

Once the filling is done, your dentist will have you bite down on a piece of colored paper to see how it interacts with other teeth. If your filling looks and feels good, you’re done! You’ll probably still be numb from the anesthetic for a few minutes afterwards.

Ask your dentist for some post-filling procedure tips.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050

Oct
19

You Might Have a Cavity if You Notice One of These 8 Signs

Posted in Fillings

Pay attention to the signs and head to a dentist if you suspect that you have a cavity. Here are eight signs of decay to watch for.

  1. Tooth Pain

Pain is the most obvious sign that something is wrong. But you don’t have to wait until you’re hurting to see a dentist; you might notice one of the other following signs before you develop a throbbing toothache.

  1. Unusual Temperature Sensitivity

Teeth that are suddenly very sensitive to temperature changes may be affected by decay.

  1. Sensitivity to Sweets

If there’s already a hole in your tooth enamel from a cavity, then the spot may sting when it comes in contact with sugar.

  1. Stinging Pain When You Bite Down on Food

Teeth shouldn’t hurt when you chew. A tooth with a cavity may hurt when it’s put under pressure.

  1. Food or Floss Getting Stuck on Teeth

This is a sign that will let you know you have a pretty advanced cavity in between two teeth.

  1. Bad Taste in Your Mouth and/or Bad Breath

Rotting tooth material does give off a foul odor. You may notice this as a rotten taste in your mouth or someone may comment that your breath smells bad.

  1. Pits or Holes in Your Teeth

If you can see actual pits or holes in your teeth, then those could very well be cavities.

  1. Dark Stained Spots

Stain doesn’t always mean a cavity, but it can sometimes hide the beginnings of a new cavity.

Getting a filling isn’t much fun. The sooner you fill a cavity, though, the more likely you are to save your tooth. Visit your dentist as soon as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Precision Digital Dentistry
674 US-202/206
Suite 7
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 955-6999

Oct
17

Are White Fillings Better Than Silver Fillings?

Posted in Fillings

Are tooth-colored tooth restorations better for your teeth? Or is it just a matter of color preference?

The Differences Between White and Metal Fillings

It’s about more than just color. Silver and white fillings are more different than you may imagine.

Metal fillings are made of silver, tin, copper, and mercury. These metals remain liquid until they’re mixed together in a special way. Then, they immediately become solid. This property allows metal fillings to be poured into prepared teeth and then molded for a snug fit before they quickly harden.

Silver fillings are highly noticeable, but they’re very strong. They so strong, in fact, that they can slowly crack your teeth as they shift with time and temperature changes.

Tooth-colored composite fillings are made from a mixture of plastic and glass. This makes them strong, smooth, and flexible. They are poured into your teeth in liquid form and then hardened with a curing light.

The composition of white fillings makes them much more compatible with natural tooth structure. They expand at the same rate your teeth do which lowers the chances of causing cracks. Additionally, tooth-colored restorations bond directly with your tooth enamel for a tighter seal. This allows them to be more conservative in shape and size than metal fillings.

Which Restoration Is Best for Your Teeth?

There’s a good reason most dentists now exclusively offer white fillings. You can still find some dentists who place metal restorations since they’re the stronger and cheaper option. But tooth-colored fillings are gentler on your teeth and look better.

The next time you need to fill a cavity, ask your dentist about the benefits of choosing a white dental filling.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care Center At Kennestone
129 Marble Mill Rd NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 424-4565

Sep
13

4 Signs It’s Time to Update Your Dental Fillings

Posted in Fillings

A dental filling is the most efficient way to get rid of a cavity. Fillings, however, don’t last forever.

How do you know that it’s time to update a dental filling? There are a few signs that can clue you in.

Loose Fillings

If you notice that a filling in your tooth wiggles or shifts when you bite on it, then that’s a dead giveaway that it needs to be replaced! A loose filling signals that it’s lost the tight seal with the tooth that it’s supposed to have.

Fractured Tooth

Have you found pieces of tooth breaking off from around a dental restoration? That could mean your filling has been putting too much strain on the tooth and cracked it. You’ll need a new restoration that will repair the damage.

Pain or Sensitivity

Sudden unexplained pain or sensitivity often means trouble. This is especially so if the tooth in question has a filling that hasn’t caused you any pain until now.

Floss Catching or Food Getting Stuck

A loose or damaged filling may no longer lie flush with the tooth. You might have rough bits sticking out that trap food debris or snag on dental floss. This is an important sign to look for if you have old fillings on the surfaces between your teeth.

Suspect You Need a New Filling?

Your dentist can provide a comprehensive assessment of your existing dental work. You’ll either have the peace of mind from knowing nothing’s wrong or be glad that you got in for treatment before a real problem showed up. So rather than waiting until your tooth hurts or your fillings fall out, be proactive by scheduling a dental checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
Smiles by Seese
610 Jetton St #250
Davidson, NC 28036
(704) 895-5095

Sep
11

Lose a Dental Filling in Your Candy? 3 Simple Steps to Take

Posted in Fillings

With the holiday season comes an abundance of sweets to suit every taste. One of the many dangers of candy, however, is its potential for destroying dental restorations.

Be prepared for the next time a chewy caramel, crunchy brittle, or gooey taffy pulls out a filling. Dentists recommend taking these steps in advance of the holiday sweets rush.

  1. Get a Dental Checkup

For the most part, dental fillings can hold up to candy. If one falls out while you’re munching on some candy corn, then that’s a sign that a new cavity may have loosened it up beforehand.

Make sure that all of your crowns, bridges, and fillings are in good shape before you embark on your next candy binge. Schedule a dental exam to see whether there are any weak areas in need of updating.

  1. Buy a Temporary Dental Filling Kit

You can find a temporary dental cement in any drugstore. This cement will come in handy for dental emergencies that happen over the weekend or on out-of-town trips when you won’t be near your regular dentist for a couple days.

Keep the kit on-hand so that you’ll be prepared to replace a lost filling. The easy directions for using the cement will come with the package.

  1. Use Extra Fluoride

Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel that gets weakened by acids and sugars found in candy. Shore up your teeth by rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash for weeks before you start indulging. Doing so can help your teeth avoid weakening around your existing dental fillings.

How else can you keep your teeth and fillings strong throughout the year? Find out by visiting your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Park South Dentistry
30 Central Park S #13C
New York, NY 10019
(212) 355-2000

Sep
9

Can You Change Out Your Metal Fillings for White Ones?

Posted in Fillings

Sick of having all of your silver dental work show when you smile? Multiple metal fillings are a thing of the past! You might be interested in changing out your existing dental work for some tooth-colored restorations that blend in better with your smile’s natural color.

The Benefits of Upgrading Your Dental Fillings

Aside from appearances, there are several advantages that white composite fillings have over metal ones:

  • Bond with tooth enamel to create a stronger seal
  • Are more conservative than metal fillings
  • Mercury-free

Most dentists now prefer placing white fillings right from the start instead of metal ones. So, if you need any new restorations, you can certainly request to get ones that match your natural teeth.

Why You Should Wait to Change Out Your Dental Work

Despite the benefits of tooth-colored fillings, there’s no need to hurry to replace your current metal ones. Silver restorations in back teeth might still have several years left in them. It’s best to replace these fillings once they’ve started to show signs of wear.

Replacing dental fillings needlessly can weaken your tooth. Rather, it’s best to replace silver fillings with white ones only as necessary.

Are White Fillings Just as Good as Metal Ones?

Yes, tooth-colored dental fillings are durable and reliable. They can add many years to a tooth’s lifespan. Upgrading from silver restorations to white ones is usually a very worthwhile investment.

If you’d like a whiter and younger-looking smile, then replacing your metal fillings with white ones is a great way to do so. Check in with a restorative dentist first, however, to make sure that now is a good time to make the change.

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

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