Dental Tips Blog

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

Nov
19

Should You Try Treating Cavities Naturally?

Natural tooth decay remedies claim that you can reverse tooth decay with natural techniques that trigger the growth of dentin. But are they real?

Can Teeth Repair Themselves?

Cavities occur when decay-causing bacteria produce an acid that eats a hole through tooth enamel.

Left untreated, decay can break through the enamel layer to the softer dentin, where it spreads rapidly and can quickly reach the tooth’s nerve.

Your teeth only generate high-quality dentin while they’re first developing. This process stops once teeth mature and emerge out of the gums. The same is true of enamel.

Now, your teeth are constantly putting up a weaker secondary kind of dentin around the pulp to protect the tooth from aging and decay. But this process isn’t fast enough to keep up with the rapid action of cavities. At best, this new layer might only stop decay rather than rebuild the tooth.

So if a tooth naturally can’t rebuild itself fast enough to reverse decay, then things like oil pulling or a strict diet won’t help much, either.

Prevent and Treat Decay Early

Minerals like fluoride are proven to strengthen existing enamel against decay. Brushing and flossing daily are proven to reduce cavity-causing bacterial buildup on teeth. A diet low in simple carbs can also help you avoid decay.

There have been a couple medical breakthroughs which suggest that we’ll soon see medications that do encourage damaged teeth to quickly regenerate. But until that time, prevention is the ideal approach.

For now, the best solution to save teeth is to remove decaying structures and fill in the opening with inorganic material (in other words, get a filling.)

Get more scientifically-supported suggestions for preventing cavities by visiting your local dentist.

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

Oct
22

What Is the Best Dental Filling Material?

Posted in Fillings

Asking “which is the best dental filling” is like asking “which is the best fuel for your car” or “which moisturizer is best for your skin.” The point is, that it’s subjective. It depends on the person and their unique needs.

Consider the facts of some common dental materials:

Gold – This material is easy to work with and almost never breaks or wears down. Gold restorations last a long time. They tend to last longer than teeth themselves, in fact. The downside is that unless you like to show off “bling” in your smile, gold fillings are very noticeable and tend to cost more.

Porcelain – Some restorations (indirect fillings) can be made outside of the mouth much like dental crowns and then cemented into the prepared tooth. These can be made out of other materials, but porcelain is popular for its beauty and strength. Indirect restorations are stronger than fillings that are poured into teeth and cover more surface area.

Silver amalgam – Silver fillings are a classic go-to for dental restorations. They’re long-lasting and cost-effective. But like gold fillings, they’re quite visible, especially in front teeth. And unlike gold or other restorations, amalgam fillings contain mercury, a relatively harmless yet controversial ingredient.

Composite resin – Tooth colored fillings represent the standard of restorative dentistry, these days. They blend in well with teeth, chemically-bond with enamel, and are gentle to tooth structure. White fillings are made from a composite resin and tend to last the shortest amount of time, however.

You can see that picking out the right filling is a subjective matter. It’s all about what you like and what your tooth needs. Your local restorative or cosmetic dentist can help you choose the material that works best for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

Aug
21

Which Is Safer: to Remove a Metal Filling or to Keep It?

Posted in Fillings

Talk about a dilemma! Even dentists have different feelings on the subject of metal filling removal. Here’s some information to help you make your decision.

Why Switch to Tooth-Colored Fillings?

Lots of people want to get rid of their metal fillings because they’re concerned about the mercury content. Amalgam restorations do have some mercury, but it’s not likely enough to cause problems from inside a tooth.

Even so, it gives some peace of mind to just have the metal restorations removed for good.

On the other hand, some folks aren’t so much worried about the mercury as how the metal looks. Upgrading to natural tooth-colored fillings provides a healthier and more natural finish for the smile.

The Dangers of Removing Metal Fillings

The biggest “risk” of removing a mercury filling is inhaling mercury vapors. Usually, you need to inhale a lot of vapors over a long period of time to suffer ill effects.

Getting one filling removed probably won’t harm you. Especially as your dentist will use mercury-safe techniques to lower your exposure. For example, your dentist will cut the filling into large easy-to-remove pieces to limit the dust particles generated.

Another danger is that your tooth may become sensitive and weak.

However, removing the filling isn’t the cause of trouble. It’s a proactive way to get started on treatment you’d eventually need, anyway.

To Remove or Keep?

The bottom line is this: you don’t have to change out your metal fillings unless you want to or until your tooth can’t wait any longer for a new one.

If you aren’t sure how your current metal amalgam fillings are doing, plan a visit with your local dentist.

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

Jan
25

What is Holistic Dentistry?

Posted in Fillings

While holistic dentists are not very common, the practice as a whole is gaining in popularity.

Holistic dentistry is the practice of treating the mouth as a small part of the greater whole. A dentist in this branch is concerned with the effect that dental treatment and problems can have on the entire body.

Holistic Dentistry vs. Traditional Dentistry

All dentists who take a holistic approach have been accredited to treat dental problems. But there is no regulated system for certifying holistic professionals.

Every dentist wants to help you reach your smile goals. Instead of merely repairing problems, holistic or biological dentists focus on finding the solutions and preventative treatments that will be kind to your entire system.

Holistic dentists are qualified to perform any procedure other dentists do, but they will incorporate more elements into treatment.

Some of these specialties include:

  • Mercury-free composite fillings
  • Safe metal filling removal
  • Nutritional therapies
  • Orthopedic orthodontics
  • Addressing breathing issues

There is certainly a fundamental truth in the concept of treating your mouth as a part of your body. Dental infections are scientifically-known to affect other body systems. Nutrition, exercise, and rest all factor into dental health. You can’t deny the fact that your mouth is closely connected to the rest of you. Your oral hygiene should always go hand-in-hand with a healthy lifestyle.

Is Holistic Dentistry Right for You?

At the end of the day, the choice is completely up to you. It’s perfectly reasonable to begin your own holistic journey by setting personal health goals to better harmonize your oral and overall health. A holistic dentist just might provide you with the resources you need.

Get started by asking your personal dentist for recommendations.

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

Jan
9

4 Benefits of White Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Metal fillings are falling out of style as you read this.

It’s not that metal (aka “silver” or “amalgam”) fillings aren’t safe or effective. Lots of people still appreciate the strength and durability of the traditional fillings. But they are getting a little harder to find. Today’s dentists just aren’t placing as many of them as they did in years past.

Why is that?

Here are four solid reasons to get onboard with the increasingly popular white fillings that are taking over modern dentist offices:

  1. Composite Fillings Chemically Bond with Tooth Enamel

White or “composite” restorations create a tight seal with the tooth after placement. This keeps them securely in place and helps prevent cavity-causing bacteria from invading in through any leaky margins.

  1. White Fillings Are Conservative

Because metal restorations don’t bond chemically with teeth, they require the removal of more tooth structure to wedge them in place. Getting a white composite filling instead can help you hold onto more of your tooth!

  1. Go Mercury-Free!

Although the metal fillings haven’t been proven to cause any problems, some people are still nervous about their trace mercury content. With the metal- and mercury-free composite restorations, you don’t need to worry about any adverse effects.

Ask your dentist which option is right for you!

  1. They Just Look Better

You have to admit it: a mouth full of metal fillings isn’t something you’re quick to show off. When all your fillings blend in with your natural tooth color, no one ever has to know just how many cavities you’ve had. Smile without shame after you trade in your silvers for composites!

Talk with your dentist to find out how white fillings could improve your smile for the better.

Posted on behalf of:
Ambler Dental Care
602 S Bethlehem Pike C-2
Ambler, PA 19002
(215) 643-1122

Apr
9

Adios, Amalgam?

Posted in Fillings

Twenty years from now, will amalgam still be used for dental fillings? It’s hard to say, given the stigma that seems to surround its use today.

Amalgam is an alloy that is typically half mercury and half silver, copper and other trace metals. Its use as a restorative dental filler gained enormous popularity in the 1800s, and, until very recently, it was the filler of choice due to its strength, durability and low cost in comparison to other fillers, including composite materials.

The main ongoing concern about amalgam is its high concentration of elemental mercury. Numerous scientific studies have suggested connections between high levels of mercury and adverse health effects such as organ damage or neurological disorders. Because of health and environmental risks, Norway, Sweden and Denmark banned the use of amalgam fillings in 2008.

However, U.S. oversight agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration and the American Dental Association continue to support amalgam, saying mercury levels in the dental restorative are too low to pose a health risk. This 2009 FDA ruling followed an exhaustive review of all scientific studies.

Safety issues aside, the demise of amalgam may still become a reality in the not too distant future. Scientists are constantly developing new dental fillers using composite materials that are stronger, longer lasting and more natural looking. In fact, aesthetics is probably the number one reason patients opt for composite fillers.

So, the answer to the question of whether amalgam will even be around in 20 or 30 years is, probably not. If there is a cheaper, more durable alternative that poses even less of a health risk, then that alternative will always prevail. Hands down.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Lawrence Rosenman, Springfield Lorton Dental Group

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Aug
22

Cheese and Your Teeth

Posted in Fillings

The word is out! Cheese may actually help prevent your teeth from developing cavities. The study by scientists shows that while a pH of 5.5 in a person’s mouth can begin causing enamel erosion and tooth decay, consuming cheese can neutralize the acidic levels in the mouth. Subjects were adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15, and were given cheese, milk and sugar-free yogurt to consume and were then told to rinse their mouths with water. At 10, 20, and 30 minutes later, the pH level of their mouths was checked. By far, cheese had the most anti-cavity properties as it raised the pH significantly in each person.

One theory why the cheese was more effective than the other dairy products was due to the fact that chewing was necessary, and that chewing stimulates saliva production. Additional saliva in the mouth can neutralize acids associated with food consumption. Having cheese as a snack during the day may actually benefit the tooth enamel by protecting it from acid erosion. Cheese also contains calcium, which helps aid in healthy bone and tooth development. Low and fat free cheese seems to have the same properties, allowing you to reap the benefits without the extra fat.

If you’re especially prone to weak teeth or cavities, consider making small amounts of cheese part of your go-to snack or after school treat for the kits. You may need fewer fillings or other restorative dental work.  As always, you want to eat a diet that is balanced, and the USDA food pyramid recommends that all people consume 2-3 servings of dairy each day.

Posted on behalf of Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates

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Aug
1

5 Ways a Trip to the Dentist is Kinder and Gentler Than Ever Before

Posted in Fillings

Many people have an aversion about going to the dentist. In fact, by some estimates, this fear, whether based on fact or fiction, prevents as much as 45 percent of the adult population in the U.S. from seeing the dentist on a regular basis.

The dental profession has for years seen this as a challenge and has worked on ways to make a dental visit less painful, if not more enjoyable, to patients. So if you are seeing the dentist for the first time in a while, you might be surprised by some advances designed to mitigate your apprehension.

1. A calming atmosphere.   

Some dental offices are design specifically with colors that sooth, space that does not constrict and even little added touches like fish tanks or waterfalls to make you as relaxed as possible. Dentists, meanwhile, are being taught more and more how to talk in calming ways to patients, much like a psychiatrist would in a therapy session.

2. Quieter drills. 

Some people cringe at the idea of a dentist going to work on their teeth with a high pitched drill. Dentists now use electric drills, which are much quieter than their predecessor air-driven drills. The new drills also use sharper bits, which get the job done a lot faster.

3. More use of composite materials with fillings. 

Unlike metal, composite fillings don’t require the dentist to dig deep, wide holes to anchor the filling. Tooth colored composite fillings take less time and last longer because they don’t weaken the tooth as much.  In addition, tooth colored fillings look just like your natural teeth.

4. Phosphorous X-ray plates. 

The days of clenching your teeth on cardboard plates that dig into the bottom of your mouth are numbered. Some dentists are now using softer, thinner plates made of phosphorous that don’t hurt like the old ones.

5. Laser technology. 

Precise, painless and quick, laser technology is being used by more and more dentists for everything from treating tooth decay to gum disease to whitening. Lasers are perhaps the biggest recent advance in dentistry.

Posted on behalf of Lawrenceville Family Dental Care, P.C.

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Aug
1

What Type of Filling Is the Best?

Posted in Fillings

There is no simple answer to that question and only a qualified dentist can make that determination based upon their experience and each patient’s unique situation.  In general dentists will opt to use either a amalagam or a composite material to fill a tooth after the decay has been removed.

Traditionally, dentists have used amalagam to fill cavities once the decay has been removed.  Amalagam is a mixture of several metal alloys including silver, tin, copper and mercury.  While the material performs well and is not harmful, it is also very visible.  Recent advances in dentistry have resulted in an entirely new class of composite dental fillings that are economical, very durable and are white in color, which results in natural appearing teeth no matter how many fillings a patient has!  Typically these composite fillings are made with a combination of glass or quartz and resin.

The choice of the filling material to be used should be discussed in detail with the dentist prior to the work being done.  Typically dentists prefer to use composite filings is areas where the filling could be visible.  In general, dentists are able to custom mix the composite material to closely match the tooth.  This results in a filling that virtually is invisible to the average person.

Some dentists still like to use the traditional amalagam fillings in the back molars, as they are usually withstand chewing better than the composite fillings.  However, dentists are using more and more composite fillings in these areas, often opting for a composite filling, when the amalagam filling fails.

While there is no one ideal filling type for every patient, composite fillings continue to grow in popularity.  The choice should be discussed with the dentist to determine the best selection for the individual patient.

Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental

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