Dental Tips Blog


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


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


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


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


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:
11550 Webb Bridge Way, Suite 1
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 772-0994


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


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


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


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


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 »

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