Dental Tips Blog

May
20

Why Is My Filled Tooth Sensitive?

Posted in Fillings

Isn’t the point of a filling to stop pain of a cavity? Then why does your tooth hurt?

There are a few possible reasons behind your sensitivity and discomfort.

Your Tooth Is Getting Used to its New Structure

It’s not every day that your teeth get opened up and exposed to air. Although you’re numb for the procedure, your tooth may complain about the intrusion for a few days afterwards.

Give your tooth a few days to settle down before you start panicking. Use a fluoride rinse and a sensitivity toothpaste to reinforce weak spots in your enamel.

The Filling Is “Too High”

Sometimes a little difference can make a big one. What that means is a subtle height discrepancy in your dental filling can throw off your entire bite. It might only feel as annoying as a seed stuck in your tooth, but it can cause some people a lot of annoyance.

You may not be able to tell for sure if this is the issue, but if the pain lasts a while, your dentist can confirm it. A brief adjustment will make your tooth comfortable again.

You Need More Than a Filling

Dentists prefer to start out with the most conservative treatment when possible. Treating with a filling is the best way to preserve your natural tooth. But it could turn out that your tooth has more damage than expected and you need a crown or root canal.

If you’re experiencing pain near your new filling that persists for a week or more or interferes with eating, call your dentist. He or she will have you right back in to take a look and make adjustments that’ll get you the relief you need.

Posted on behalf of:
Manhattan Dental Design
315 W 57th St Suite 206
New York, NY 10019
(646) 504-437

Mar
31

Which Kind of Dental Filling Is Right for Your Tooth?

Posted in Fillings

Different kinds of dental fillings are out there to serve different purposes.

It’s like different kinds of shoes. Some are meant to make a fashion statement while others keep you dry on a rainy day or are suited to hiking.

Fillings work a lot like that. Your tooth needs a filling that’s right for the job at hand.

Here are some of the different types of fillings you may encounter.

Classic silver amalgam fillings are affordable and durable, but are being phased out. This is due to their mercury content and the fact that they can be too strong for teeth. Stress from a metal filling can cause tiny fractures in enamel.

Gold, however, is great for teeth. It works well in the oral environment and lasts a long time. The only downsides are that it’s costly and pretty noticeable. Although some people like it for just those reasons!

Today’s most popular fillings are made from composite resin. These plastic-ceramic blends camouflage nicely with natural tooth color and are conservative in design.

Exposed tooth roots near the “neck” of teeth are often candidates for glass ionomer fillings. These restorations bond well with teeth but aren’t strong. They’re ideal for the sides and edges of teeth where they won’t be engaged in the bite force.

For a mix between a crown and a filling, inlays and onlays make up the middle ground. Created outside the mouth, these indirect fillings are placed into the prepared site in one solid piece. This makes them strong but they are much more minimal than a fully crown.

Which filling is right for you? Contact your dentist to schedule a dental checkup.

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

Mar
30

Think Your Filling Is Too High? What You Can Do

Posted in Fillings

Almost all of us have had that sensation that a new dental restoration is too big for our tooth.

It can take a while for a new filling to seem like it fits at just the right point of feeling natural.

But what about when it’s been months since you got the filling and your tooth still feels bulky?

Signs Your Filling Is Too Big

  • Aching jaw
  • Sensation you always have something stuck in a tooth
  • Difficulty flossing
  • The tooth opposite from the one with the filling hurts

Why It Matters

A large filling may not look that bad, at first glance. Even the first few times you chew with it may not feel unusual. But the difference can show up subtly over time.

The tiniest discrepancy in tooth height can throw your bite out of balance. Eventually, this would lead to uneven tooth wear, a sore jaw, pain, and even sensitivity.

Get Your Filling Fixed!

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do at home to repair a high filling. Anything you could attempt would only be dangerous. You’d risk damaging the filling and even permanently harming your tooth.

The solution for a high filling is simple: your dentist drills and polishes it down.

In a procedure that lasts just a few minutes, your dentist will check the fit of the restoration and grind it down. Only your dentist can determine exactly which spots should be filed to create a comfortable fit. This is such a quick and noninvasive job that you won’t even need any anesthesia.

Is your new dental restoration bothering you?

Get it checked as soon as possible to see what can be done. Don’t put up with the pain – call your dentist today.

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

Feb
16

Dentists Taking Steps to Combat Effects of Mercury

Posted in Fillings

Starting in July 2017, a couple new initiatives are going into effect with the aim of reducing the effects of dental mercury on the environment.

Very few dental offices in the United States still offer amalgam (50% mercury) as an option for dental fillings. They are being phased out and replaced by composite tooth colored fillings which are more conservative and metal-free.

While getting a silver filling isn’t likely to put your body at risk of mercury poisoning, getting these fillings removed could gradually be doing damage to the environment.

Dentists have to clean out the metal, which generates a mercury vapor that can be harmful if they breathe in a lot of it over the course of their career. In addition, the waste gets washed down the drain and into the water supply, where it can accumulate in drinking water and seafood.

After decades of efforts to completely eliminate the use and effects of mercury-based fillings, a couple of major steps have been taken.

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Clean Water Act

A part of this act requires that all dental offices in the United States install amalgam separators that trap mercury debris so it can be properly disposed of.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP): Minamata Convention on Mercury

This initiative goes into effect as of August 2017 and aims to phase out mercury use in dental offices on a global level. As a start, dentists are encouraged to not provide silver fillings for children and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Later talks will work toward the goal of eliminating mercury use entirely by 2030.

Want to know more about smile-safe dental restorations? Talk with your local dentist about your options.

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

Jan
10

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Filling?

Posted in Fillings

With several factors coming into play, there is no flat-rate for a dental filling. The price you’re quoted will depend on things like:

  • Material used for the filling
  • Size of the filling
  • Complexity of the restoration (how hard it is to place)
  • Location of the dental practice
  • What your dental insurance policy covers 

Basic Cost Of A Filling

On average, a basic metal amalgam (silver) filling costs about $150. A tooth-colored composite filling goes for $250. Gold fillings come in as the most expense at around $400, but often more, depending on the size.

The averages given above will increase significantly in proportion with the size and location of the filling.

How Your Insurance Helps Out

As long as you meet any deductibles set by your insurance, your dental insurance company may cover around 80% of the cost of a filling. But this rate depends on your individual policy. Even that may vary depending on the filling material type.

Why Do Prices Vary?

A dental office needs to make a margin of profit that allows the practice to keep running. Not all that money is going straight to your dentist’s pocket! There are staff members to pay, equipment to maintain, bills to pay, and a building to maintain.

Geographic location also factors in. A dental office’s prices reflect the economy of the area it’s situated in.

You won’t know how much your next filling will cost until you actually go into a dental practice for an evaluation. Your dentist will work with you to plan treatment that suits your wallet and – even more importantly – your smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Blue Sky Dental Group
14866 Old St. Augustine Rd, Suite 111
Jacksonville, FL 32258
(904) 595-7918

Dec
31

5 Signs Your Pre-Teen Has Bad Oral Hygiene

Posted in Fillings

Your son or daughter is reaching that age where they start to worry about how others view them. Kids are bombarded with images that prompt them to set near-impossible standards for themselves in terms of appearance.

As for you? You just want to see your child happy and healthy. Your pre-teen deserves a great foundation to start from, one of health that gives them more freedom to express themselves.

Great oral hygiene is a cornerstone of health. If your child gets into good habits in this area now, you’ll have some peace of mind.

Use your child’s natural desire to fit in and be beautiful to encourage those healthy tooth habits.

Here are some signs that your kid may actually be headed down wrong path when it comes to dental health and hygiene:

  1. Their teeth look orange from layers of plaque.
  2. Your child is a very picky eater. Limiting their diet to junk food or carbs makes their dental plaque stickier and more prone to causing cavities.
  3. Your child’s gums appear red or swollen. This indicates gingivitis.
  4. You’re constantly visiting the dentist to get another filling for your child.
  5. You find out your child is experiencing bullying because of his or her tooth appearance or bad breath.

What you can do:

Encourage good hygiene for your family by having the appropriate dental products easily accessible around the home. Promote healthy snacking by stocking the right foods. Educate your son or daughter on how choices in daily life can affect the look of their smile.

Your family’s dentist is on your side and can help your child get an idea of the condition their mouth is in. Schedule an appointment to get more information.

Posted on behalf of:
Sycamore Hills Dentistry
10082 Illinois Rd
Fort Wayne, IN 46804
(260) 213-4400

Dec
5

What Kind of Material is Used in Dental Fillings?

Posted in Fillings

A dental filling can be used to patch up worn, cracked, or broken parts of a tooth if the structure allows for it. But more commonly, fillings repair areas of a tooth that have been eaten away by decay.

What materials might your dentist use to fill a tooth?

Silver Amalgam

Classic silver fillings are probably what come to mind when you think about repairing a cavity. These restorations are made from a mix (amalgam) of materials including copper, silver, mercury, tin, and zinc.

While these restorations last a long time, they’re falling out of favor because they can be harsh on teeth.

Composite Resin

A plastic-based tooth-colored material, composite resin is the most popular filling option. Tooth colored fillings look great, fills in nicely, and is more compatible with tooth structure than amalgam.

Glass Ionomer

These fillings have elements of glass and acrylic in them. While often too brittle to support a lot of chewing force, glass ionomer restorations do have the benefit of releasing fluoride into your tooth.

Gold

A gold alloy filling will last you the longest. But it’s also likely to be your most expensive option. It’s also only worth considering if you like the look of gold teeth.

Which kind of filling you need will be decided by considering a few factors:

  • Where the cavity is
  • How far the decay reached
  • What other restorations are already in your mouth
  • Where in your mouth the tooth is located
  • How much you (or your insurance company) are willing to spend

Your dentist will be your best guide in determining the filling material that’s right for your tooth. Schedule a dental appointment if you suspect you have a cavity.

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

Nov
8

Why Do Dentists Just “Watch” Some Cavities?

Posted in Fillings

You may have heard your dentist say that on a few occasions: “we’ll just watch this one for a while.”

Watch it do what? Get bigger? Go away?

Why doesn’t your dentist want to treat a small cavity right away?

The sooner you treat tooth decay, the better, in most cases. Early treatment tends to buy your tooth extra time and save you money. But, there are some situations that warrant waiting a little while.

How Cavities Form

Decay starts with a weak area in tooth enamel. It usually forms as a result of acid exposure. Acid sources include sugar, bacteria, and even reflux or vomiting. The more your teeth are exposed to such things, the greater the chances that your enamel will start dissolving.

Once the enamel breaks down enough, cavity-causing bacteria can move in and become the start of a cavity. Decay progresses very slowly through tough tooth enamel. After reaching softer inner tooth layers, it can grow rapidly, so that’s the point when your dentist wants to treat it.

As long as a cavity is still stuck in the outer layers of enamel, it’s possible to stop the disease and strengthen your tooth with fluoride.

Spare Your Teeth from “Unnecessary” Work

Altering your teeth unnecessarily will only weaken them. Aggressively patching up a tooth with a composite filling every time a little spot of decay shows up is a sure way to shorten the lifespan of your teeth.

So, your dentist is likely to wait and see if a small cavity or demineralization stops itself before it reaches that point of absolutely needing treatment.

Ask your dentist about what methods are available in the office for detecting tooth decay in its early stages.

Posted on behalf of:
Les Belles NYC Dentistry
420 Lexington Ave #228
New York, NY 10170
212-804-8884

Oct
30

How Long Will My Filling Last?

Posted in Fillings

After all that expense, that new dental filling had better stay in for a good long while!

However, the unfortunate nature of dental toot filling restorations is that no tooth restoration will last indefinitely. All they do is help you keep your natural tooth whole and healthy for as long as possible. How long you hold onto your new filling depends in part on what it’s made of.

Gold Fillings

Gold fillings are not as common these days, but they used to be popular. In fact, gold was the only tooth filling option at one time. If you happen to get a gold filling, you might see it last you up to 30 years. This metal works very well with teeth and doesn’t break down like other materials. The main downside is that most folks don’t like the look of gold teeth.

Silver Fillings

A silver metal filling is far cheaper than gold. It’s actually the cheapest and easiest material to place. These fillings are also falling out of popularity because they can cause tooth fractures over the 15 years you might expect them to last. They also contain traces of certain elements that some people prefer to avoid.

Composite Fillings

Tooth-colored composite fillings suit teeth quite nicely and look great, too. No one ever has to know how many fillings you have if they all blend seamlessly with your natural tooth color. You may have to replace a white filling within 5-7 years of getting it. Some last a decade or more.

The good news is that scientists are constantly working to find more lasting treatment alternatives. Who knows? One day we might not need dental fillings,at all. Talk with your dentist about which tooth filling material is best for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Clearwater Dentistry
3006 Gulf to Bay Blvd
Clearwater, FL 33759
727-608-4361

Oct
9

Why Can’t I Get a Metal Filling Anymore?

Posted in Fillings

Dentists still learn how to place metal fillings in dental school, but you don’t see them used much these days. If you really wanted one, it could still be done.

But there are solid reasons why metal fillings are going out of date. Most of today’s dentists open up their practices right from the start offering only white composite dental fillings, so you’re bound to have a hard time finding metal ones. Here’s why:

White Fillings – Kind To Teeth

Metal fillings don’t create a very snug seal with the tooth. Thus, they require more of the tooth to be carved out so they can be anchored in place. White ones form a chemical bond with tooth enamel so they can afford to be more minimal in design.

While amalgam restorations are strong and long-lasting, they can sometimes be too strong for the tooth. The metal expands and contracts with temperature change at a rate faster than the tooth itself does, creating tiny cracks that allow bacteria to leak in. Conversely, composite fillings “give” similar to natural teeth.

For Future Reference

White composite fillings allow for a little more visibility on dental x-rays. A large metal restoration can block the view and is better at hiding sneaky cavities. If you develop new decay, you’ll be glad to catch it early on.

Err On The Safe Side And Go Mercury-Free

Tooth-colored dental fillings don’t contain any mercury. Granted, the traces in metal fillings are too small to worry about, but not having to deal with the substance anymore is healthier for patient and dentist, alike.

Are you keeping up with recent developments in dentistry? Contact your dentist for the latest.

Posted on behalf of:
Ora Dentistry
2733 Elk Grove Blvd #180
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 975-1000

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….