Dental Tips Blog


5 Ways to Avoid Getting a Dental Crown

Posted in Crowns

There’s nothing wrong with dental crowns in themselves. If you truly need a cap, then you don’t really have many other options. But they cost more than a filling and take a little more time to place.

The trick to avoiding a crown, then, is to avoid the circumstances that lead you to needing one.

Here are five ways you can do just that.

  1. Protect Your Teeth in Sports.

Contact sports are a major cause of cracked teeth which then need to be capped. Wearing a professional mouth guard during sports can protect your teeth. This is especially important for your kids if you want to avoid dental emergencies.

  1. Avoid Hard Foods.

Teeth experience extensive wear over years of chewing food. Spare your tooth enamel the abuse by avoiding very hard foods like ice cubes, chicken bones, and popcorn kernels.

  1. Prevent Tooth Decay.

Tooth decay is one of the main reasons you could need a crown. If you brush and floss daily and use plenty of fluoride, you can keep cavities at bay and avoid getting a crown.

  1. Relax Your Bruxism Habit.

Do you grind your teeth in your sleep? It may be time to treat the habit so that you don’t crack a tooth with excessive force.

  1. Get That Tooth Filled!

Most problems that lead to getting a crown can be treated easily while they’re small. Get teeth filled when your dentist recommends, and you can keep them strong enough to not need a dental cap.

Would you like to learn some other ways you can avoid getting a dental crown? Interested in some potential treatment alternatives? Contact your local dentist for a consultation.

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


Are Metal Fillings Bad for Teeth?

Posted in Fillings

Dentists have used amalgam dental restorations which contain silver and other metals to fill teeth for decades.

Metal fillings have been in use so long because they are cost-effective and easy to place. In fact, you can still find some dental offices that offer them.

Such places are becoming scarce, however, for the following reasons:

Amalgam Fillings Contain Mercury

Mercury is an essential part of metal fillings because it’s what enables the filling to be shaped and placed into a tooth before hardening. This mercury stays in place and shouldn’t make you sick. But some people still worry about having a potentially dangerous substance in their mouths.

Metal Fillings Stress Tooth Enamel

Although amalgam fillings last a long time, they can put a lot of wear on teeth.

Metals expand and contract with temperature changes. A metal filling gets slightly larger in warm temperatures and shrinks slightly in cool ones. Your mouth regular experiences extremes in temperature change when you take in hot and cold foods.

The problem with this is that your teeth can’t expand and contract as fast as metals do. With time, the more rapid motions of a metal filling can weaken the enamel and cause tiny cracks that lead to sensitivity, fracture, and cavities.

Silver Doesn’t Look the Best on Teeth

Metal fillings are also falling out of favor just because people don’t like the look of them especially when there are more subtle options like white composite fillings. A tooth-colored filling is much more natural looking and is especially useful for making small cosmetic smile enhancements.

Ask your dentist about which restorative options available in your area are right for your smile.

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


4 Reasons to Update Your Old Metal Fillings

Posted in Fillings

There are a few good reasons why you should update your metal fillings to new white ones. If even one of these reasons is important to you, then that definitely justifies having your old restorations replaced.

1. White (tooth colored) fillings are more aesthetically pleasing.

Gone are the days of having a metal grin! Fillings can now be done with a composite resin material that resembles the color of natural teeth. Unless someone was to look very closely, no one would ever be able to count how many fillings you have.

2. Recurrent decay is common underneath aged metal fillings.

With temperature change, the metal expands and contracts faster than teeth do. This results in very small gaps around the filling, allowing cavity-causing bacteria in. This decay often goes undetected on x-rays because the metal filling is hiding it. Updating your old metal restorations is the ideal opportunity to clean out any decay that has settled in over time.

3. Tooth colored fillings create a more secure bond with the tooth.

Metal fillings don’t chemically bind to teeth. A larger amount of tooth structure has to be removed to provide a mechanical anchor for a metal restoration. Composite fillings form a chemical bond with teeth. This means that they don’t require as much tooth material to be removed.

4. Metal fillings could possibly leak mercury into your system.

The effects of mercury on the body’s nervous system is of great concern to a lot of people. If this concerns you as well, then updating your old fillings could give you peace of mind.

To find out whether or not your existing metal fillings qualify to be upgraded to white ones, visit your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Pacific Sky Dental
6433 Mission St
Daly City, CA 94014
(650) 353-3130


4 Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Everyone is talking about “getting a better smile” and “having bright, white teeth.”  But how can you have a great smile when your dentist tells you that you have 4 cavities and you need to get 4 fillings?  Thanks to modern technology, tooth-colored dental fillings have been invented.  These composite restorations have many advantages over the traditional silver-colored fillings, besides just being free of mercury.

What are some advantages of getting tooth colored fillings?

Consider these 4 benefits:

  1. They look better- Tooth-colored fillings are mostly unnoticeable unlike silver-colored fillings.  You can smile freely when you have tooth-colored fillings because they look much better.
  2. They are safer for teeth- Metal fillings expand with heat in your mouth which puts pressure on your teeth, causing your teeth to crack.  With tooth colored fillings, you don’t have to worry about heat causing them to expand and as a result, they are safer. Plus, they require less tooth preparation!
  3. They last longer- If they are taken care of properly such as keeping them clean, eating less sugary types of food, and not chewing on ice, these tooth colored fillings can last up to 15 years!
  4. Tooth strength is restored- Since tooth-colored fillings are bonded to your natural teeth, it restores the strength of the teeth.

Thankfully, silver-colored fillings are not used as much as they have been in the past.  Tooth-colored fillings are now typically the filling of choice among dentists for all the above listed benefits.

Do you need to get a cavity filled?  You will not be sorry to have your cavity restored with a tooth-colored filling!  Talk to your dentist about what a white composite filling has to offer.

Posted on behalf of:
Rolling Ridge Dentistry
7510 Ramble Way #101
Raleigh, NC 27616
(919) 809-7192


Advantages of Composite Fillings

Posted in Fillings

If you have not had a dental filling in few years, you may not be aware that you have a choice when it comes to the type of filling material your dentist uses.  For generations, the dental filling material of choice has been silver colored amalgam but today, many dental patients are choosing tooth colored composite fillings instead.

Composite fillings are not appropriate for all types of tooth restorations.  For example, if the tooth has extensive decay and requires a very large filling, amalgam may be a better choice.  However, when a composite filling is an appropriate alternative, it can be an excellent choice.

The most obvious advantage of composite fillings is that they are tooth colored instead of silver.  This is especially important if the filling is on the face of one of your teeth and will show when you smile.  In addition to the aesthetic appeal, composite fillings have addition advantages.

Amalgam fillings are held in place primarily through friction.  The filing material is wedged into the tooth and the pressure of the filling material against the sides of the cavity keeps it in place.  This pressure can cause the tooth to crack.

Instead of pressure, composite filling are held in place with cement.  A composite filling is cemented in place and does not exert any potentially damaging pressure on the tooth.  In addition, your dentist does not have to remove as much healthy tooth material to provide a good fit for a composite filling.

The main drawbacks to composite fillings are cost and durability.  A composite filling is a little more expensive than an amalgam filling and have not proven as durable.  However, the cost differential is not large and the durability of composite fillings has improved in recent years.  They may soon match amalgam fillings in terms of durability at a modest cost premium.


Tooth Colored Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Tooth colored fillings are also known as resin or composite dental fillings. These fillings are an aesthetic treatment option compared to traditional silver fillings. Composite fillings can also be placed in areas where traditional fillings cannot, such as on smooth surfaces or on the biting edges of teeth.

Because of the way composite fillings are made, they bond directly onto the surface of the tooth. One of the biggest benefits of composite fillings is that they are one of the least invasive treatment methods for small areas of decay or tooth abrasion. Other types of fillings require tooth preparation that holds the wedged filling material into place. Composite fillings require less tooth preparation, making them less invasive. Instead of patching a tooth, tooth colored fillings help repair and rebuild the natural anatomy of a tooth.

The color of composite fillings is matched closely with the natural enamel shade of the tooth surrounding the area that is to be repaired. Coloration of composite fillings does not change over time, so if the area is near the front of the mouth you may want to consider whitening your teeth prior to the treatment if that is something you will eventually want to do.

Composite fillings are used on all types of teeth. Some people also choose to have them done to replace older silver fillings, giving them a more aesthetic smile. Tooth colored fillings do not contain mercury, so for patients who are concerned about mercury content in amalgam (silver) fillings, composite fillings are the best alternative. Another benefit over silver fillings is that composite fillings do not act as a conductor to temperature changes, which prevents sensitivity.


Composite Fillings Make Good Sense

Posted in Fillings

Most Duluth GA dentists offer you a choice when it comes to what type of material to use for your dental fillings.  You can choose silver colored amalgam fillings or tooth colored composite fillings.  Amalgam has been the filling material of choice for decades, but composite fillings may be a better choice in many situations

The first consideration is cost.  It takes less time and skill to prepare a tooth for an amalgam filling. In addition, the amalgam material is less expensive than composite resin materials.  As a result, amalgam fillings are less expensive than composite fillings.

Amalgam is also considered a little more durable than composites.  Replacement time can vary widely, but amalgam fillings average around 15 years while composites may need to be replaced after about 10 years.  As composite materials improve, we can expect this gap to get smaller.

If cost and durability were the only factors, amalgam would be the clear choice.  However, composite fillings have some important advantages.  The most obvious advantage is aesthetics.  Composite fillings are tooth colored and do not detract from the appearance of your smile like amalgam.

Another advantage of composite fillings is that they add support and strength to the tooth because filling material is chemically bonded to the tooth.  Amalgam is pressed into the cavity and held in place using friction and pressure.  In addition, less of the healthy tooth has to be removed to place a composite filling.  There is less drilling necessary and more of the healthy tooth is preserved.

Preservation of the natural tooth becomes particularly important when the filling needs to be replaced years later.  Since there is more health tooth left, it is more likely that the filling can be replaced with another filling instead of needing a cap or crown.

The choice is yours, but unless there is a compelling need to place an amalgam filling, composite fillings are better for your teeth and better looking too!


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.


Advantages of Composite Fillings

Dentists have been filling cavities with amalgam for over a hundred years.  Amalgam is the silver colored metal that your dentist uses to fill your cavity after he has removed all of the tooth decay.

Amalgam is made by mixing liquid mercury with powdered silver and other metals.  It forms a soft past that your dentist uses to fill the cavity in your tooth.  The amalgam then hardens in place.   Amalgam is durable, relatively inexpensive, and easy to work with although it hardens quickly which means that your dentist has to work fast once the amalgam mixture has been made.

However, amalgam has become somewhat controversial in recent years.  Some experts claim that the mercury in amalgam causes mercury poisoning, especially in children.  These experts say that a small amount of mercury leaches out of the filling and is either inhaled or ingested.

To date, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims of mercury poisoning and the American Dental Association, US Food and Drug Administration, and Center for Disease Control have all concluded that amalgam is a safe and effective substance for dental fillings for most patients.

Fortunately, there is an excellent alternative to amalgam.  Resin composites are made from a plastic material with hard fillers such quartz or silica.  Resin composites are just as strong as amalgam, but they are colored and can be made to exactly match the color of your teeth.  Also, they cure using light so your dentist has much more time to properly form the filling.  Finally, composites are glued into your teeth so they actually add support and help strengthen the tooth.

As your general family care dentist about using resin composites instead of amalgam for your next filling.

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