Dental Tips Blog

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

Aug
6

What Does it Feel Like to Have Dental Fillings?

Posted in Fillings

If you haven’t gotten a filling before, then you might wonder: what do dental fillings feel like?

What it Feels Like to Get a Filling

The part most people are nervous about is the process of getting a filling.

You won’t actually feel a thing, however. The dentist will numb up your mouth with a local anesthetic that blocks any pain. You might sense a little pressure, but no discomfort. It’s all over very quickly.

After the dentist places the filling and cures it, he or she will ask you to bite down to check the feel. If it feels like you have something stuck between your teeth, that’s not right. Let the dentist know and he or she will polish it down until it’s level with your tooth.

After Getting a Filling

Your teeth might be a little sensitive right after getting a filling. That’s because they aren’t used to being opened and exposed to air. Give it a few days and your tooth should adjust. An anti-sensitivity toothpaste may also help.

If your tooth feels painful or very sensitive weeks after getting the filling, then you may need to go back to get it checked.

Life with Dental Fillings

Living and eating with dental fillings feels no different from eating with unfilled teeth. You can chew normally and should brush and floss filled teeth as you would any other tooth.

Remember that dental fillings don’t make teeth immune to decay; you can still get a cavity under or around a restoration if you slack off on your home care.

Visit your dentist if you have any other questions about dental fillings.

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

Aug
5

Can You Reverse a Cavity in Your Tooth?

Posted in Fillings

You’ll do anything to avoid getting a dental filling. Can reversing your next cavity spare you a trip to the dentist? Is it possible?

The Cause of Cavities

Tooth decay is caused by germs that live in everyone’s mouths. These germs thrive on the sugar you eat and multiply in acidic conditions. They produce more acid, which dissolves tooth enamel. As enamel wears away, the bacteria create a hole lined with decaying tissue: that is, a cavity.

Cavities start on the hard outer enamel surface of your tooth. Enamel is so hard that it can take quite a while for cavities to grow. But once the decay reaches the soft inner layer of your tooth, nothing can stop it from spreading except for a dental filling.

Stop Cavities Before It’s Too Late!

Your teeth constantly absorb minerals from your saliva. Minerals like calcium, phosphate, and fluoride make enamel resistant to acid wear and tooth decay. If you can create an environment in your mouth that’s hostile to cavity-causing bacteria, you can give your enamel a fighting chance at remineralizing itself and reversing the cavity.

A few ways to do this are:

  • Cut out sweet drinks from your diet
  • Switch from processed carbs to whole grains
  • Eat calcium-rich foods like broccoli, yogurt, cheese, and almonds
  • Stay hydrated with plenty of water
  • Brush and floss daily to hinder bacteria buildup
  • Use fluoride dental products

Stop the Spread of Cavities

Teeth can’t reverse a large cavity that has broken past the enamel into the deeper layers of a tooth. Have each and every potential cavity examined by a dentist to find out whether your teeth stand a chance of reversing the decay before it’s too late.

Posted on behalf of:
ConfiDenT
11550 Webb Bridge Way, Suite 1
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 772-0994

Jul
29

Do You Really Need a Dental Filling?

Posted in Fillings

You might be a bit doubtful when your dentist tells you that you need another filling or two. After all, if you don’t have a toothache, then is there even a problem?

Here are a few ways you can find out for yourself whether or not you have a cavity that needs a filling.

Check the X-Rays

Your dentist will be happy to explain your dental x-rays to you and show you where you have active decay.

Cavities usually show up as fuzzy black triangles in tooth enamel on x-rays. If you have many of them that reach through the outer layer of your tooth, those areas will need to be filled.

Keep Track of Tooth Sensitivity Episodes

Sensitivity is often the first sign of an advancing cavity. You don’t need to wake up with a painful dental abscess to know that your tooth might need a filling. Decayed teeth usually show symptoms of sensitivity to temperature changes and sweets or sour foods.

Have you felt your teeth sting with discomfort when you chewed on a cookie or piece of sweet gum? That’s a pretty sure sign that you’ll need a filling.

When Was the Last Time You Saw a Dentist?

It’s time to be honest with yourself. If you haven’t had a dental checkup in years, then there’s a good chance your teeth have developed a few cavities during that time. It shouldn’t come as a surprise for a dentist to recommend dental fillings after a long timeframe without checking your teeth.

Ask your dentist about the best restorative options for your smile and some more information on how you can prevent future decay.

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

Jul
28

The 3 Things That Cause Tooth Decay

Posted in Fillings

There are three main things that come together to cause tooth decay. These are: bacteria, acids, and insufficient oral hygiene.

Were you surprised to see that sugar didn’t make the list?

Sugar does play an important role in cavity formation. But sugar by itself doesn’t actually cause decay.

Let’s take a closer look at the process that keeps dental fillings in style.

Bacteria 

Tooth decay is an infection of the tooth structure. There is a specific kind of bacteria that eats away holes in tooth enamel. The germs multiply as they invade their new home in the tooth and then work on enlarging it.

Virtually everyone is exposed to this bacteria at some point, picking it up from their parents while still very young; plus, the germs are impossible to get rid of. 

Acid Exposure 

Tooth enamel is very strong, but it is still susceptible to wear from acids. Acids thin out enamel and paves the way for cavity-causing bacteria to carry out their mission.

Those bacteria feed on the food your teeth come into contact with, and produce enamel-eating acid. The germs love carbohydrates, especially sugar. This is where eating a lot of sweets has an impact on your decay risk; every time you eat sugar, the bacteria generate an acid attack.

Acid exposure also comes through frequent vomiting or heartburn or sipping on sports drinks, soda, or fruit juice.

Poor Oral Hygiene 

Daily brushing and flossing and fluoride use are often sufficient to keep decay at bay. If you slack off, however, those germs will have the chance to proliferate.

Ask your dentist how you can improve your diet and oral hygiene to lower your cavity risk.

Posted on behalf of:
Feather Touch Dental Care
1175 Peachtree St. NW Ste 1204
Atlanta, GA 30361
(404) 892-2097

Jun
19

Should You Fill Your Own Tooth?

Posted in Fillings

At-home dental restoration kits claim that you can get great results with no drilling or anesthesia and at a fraction of the cost of a dental visit.

But performing your own dentistry isn’t as simple as it may sound. Dentists strongly discourage DIY dentistry because of the risks involved.

The Dangers of Filling Your Own Tooth

Properly restoring a tooth involves more than just filling a hole. Cavities are active bacterial infections. If the infection isn’t cleaned out before filling the tooth, the cavity will continue to spread through the tooth. Only a dentist using special drilling equipment can completely clear out a cavity. You can’t do this on your own if you fill your tooth at home.

There’s also the risk of placing too much filling material. This can make it impossible to floss around the filled tooth and can even throw off your bite.

If a dentist has to redo your DIY filling, your tooth may require more treatment than if you just had it filled in the first place.

When Should You Place Your Own Fillings?

If you’re taking a trip abroad or hiking out into the wilderness, then you might want to bring along a temporary dental filling kit. Temporary filling material can protect your tooth if you lose a restoration at a time when you’re far from a dental office.

Get Your Fillings Done Right the First Time

To save as much of your tooth as possible in addition to saving money see your dentist to get dental fillings done. You should also see your dentist soon after placing a temporary filling so that it can be replaced with a more permanent option.

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

Jun
19

How Dental Fillings Can Be Bad for Teeth

Posted in Fillings

Dental fillings are supposed to treat tooth decay, so you might be surprised to learn that they could be harmful to your teeth.

But how?

Fillings Weaken Teeth

When a dentist cleans out a cavity from your tooth, a little bit of the healthy tooth structure must also come out. This guarantees there is no compromised structure left under the filling.

Fillings need to be replaced when they break or wear out. And every time a filling is placed, a little more tooth structure is lost. This means that filled teeth will eventually get weaker and weaker over the years. Gradually, those teeth will need crowns, or possibly a root canal.

Fillings Are Prone to Decay, Too

Many people mistakenly believe that once a tooth is filled it’s set for life. In reality, the margin where a filling meets the tooth surface is the perfect place for a new cavity to start if you’re not great about brushing and flossing.

Dental Fillings Are Still Good for You!

Just remember that for as “bad” as dental fillings can be, not treating a cavity with a filling is even worse!

Fillings are usually the best solution for treating decay. The key is to treat cavities when they’re smaller, using less invasive methods.

All you can do is keep chasing down repairs in your teeth to make your fillings last as long as possible. If you get one while a cavity is still small, you stand a better chance of holding onto your tooth for life. Modern tooth-colored composite dental fillings are the most conservative restoration to date.

There are other options for restoring teeth depending on the extent of the damage. These include inlays and onlays. Ask a restorative dentist which procedure is best for you!

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725

Jun
18

Do You Really Need a Dental Filling?

Posted in Fillings

Dental work can seem expensive, or uncomfortable memories may come to mind when your dentist recommends that you get a new filling.

Can you just skip the filling altogether? You might not want to after considering these facts…

What Dental Fillings Do

A restoration fills in the hole left by a cavity to restore your tooth’s smooth surface. This prevents food from getting stuck in your enamel and keeps new germs from setting up camp. Fillings also keep a decayed tooth strong so that it’s less likely to fracture.

What Happens if You Don’t Get That Filling

Cavities aren’t just a cosmetic issue. If left untreated, they can quickly spread to other teeth or even progress to the point that they cause an abscess.

Abscessed teeth can be extremely painful and usually require an extraction or root canal. Getting a filling in a timely manner can help you avoid such complications.

Alternatives to Dental Fillings

Depending on the extent of your tooth’s damage, you may need something other than a traditional metal or composite filling.

Dental crowns, for example, protect and reinforce entire teeth from the outside. These are best for teeth with extensive decay damage.

Inlays and onlays are other options. They’re made outside the mouth and then inserted into the prepared tooth in one solid piece, like a crown. Like a filling, however, onlays and inlays only replace part of a tooth instead of covering it entirely.

You may be able to reverse extremely new cavities (demineralization) if you treat them with fluoride before the erosion cavitates its way through your enamel.

Only your dentist can determine which teeth need a filling and which don’t. Plan a trip to the dental office to find out what your smile needs.

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

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