Dental Tips Blog

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

May
20

Here’s How Long to Expect Your Dental Fillings to Last

Posted in Fillings

It would be nice if all of your dental work could last forever. Dental researchers are still working to find a way to make that possible. But for now, the unfortunate reality is that no dental filling can last a lifetime. The oral environment is a dynamic one where dental materials can only hold up for so long.

Why Do Dental Fillings Wear Out?

Fillings tend to fall apart when something happens to the tooth material around them.

For example, a tooth worn down by acid exposure or a grinding habit will have weak enamel that only gets weaker as time goes on. Any dental fillings in that tooth are at risk for popping out much sooner than expected.

Teeth with fractures or cavities also have a hard time keeping fillings in place.

Some dental restorations even discolor over time and become eyesores.

Factor That Affect the Lifespan of Dental Work

It’s hard to estimate how long your fillings will last, but the following factors could help you make a close estimate:

  • What your filling is made of, as some materials are stronger than others
  • Quality of the work done while placing your filling
  • Size of the filling (the smaller the better)
  • Environment of your mouth (dry mouth or an acidic environment is harmful)
  • How well you care for your teeth each day

On average, a silver amalgam filling should last you around 10-15 years. A tooth-colored composite resin filling can last about 10 years as well. Nowadays some people see their dental work last upward to 20 years.

Are you trying to decide which dental restoration will last the longest? Contact your dentist to find out your best options.

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

Jan
6

Is It Time to Replace Your Dental Fillings?

Posted in Fillings

Almost all dental work requires an update at some point. Over time, things can simply wear out. How can you know when your fillings are due to be replaced?

When There Is Recurrent Decay

Any time a filled tooth gets a new cavity, there’s a chance the filling will have to be replaced.

You may have recurrent decay in a filled tooth if you notice:

  • Loose or broken fillings
  • Food or stain getting trapped at the edge of a restoration
  • Floss catching the edge of a filling
  • Unusual temperature or sweet sensitivity in the tooth

Recurrent decay can happen without any warning signs. Sometimes you won’t know there is a cavity under a filling until a dentist examines the tooth. X-rays are the most helpful way to check for new decay.

The new filling will be larger than the old one. You may even need to get the entire tooth crowned if the cavity is big enough.

Should You Replace Stained Fillings?

You may want to replace fillings that have discolored over time or change out a silver restoration for a white one, solely for aesthetic reasons. If the filling is small enough, replacing it may not be a problem.

But sometimes, unnecessarily replacing a strong and functional filling may only create more problems. Every time your dentist removes a restoration to place a new one, a little more tooth structure is lost and your tooth gets weaker.

If your restoration is serving your tooth well and replacing it would only jeopardize your smile, then it may be best to wait a few more years.

Talk with a restorative dentist near you to find out whether or not your fillings need updating.

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

Nov
19

What to Do When a Dental Filling Falls Out

Posted in Fillings

Dental fillings can fall out for a variety of reasons:

  • It didn’t set properly or have time to harden after being placed
  • Chewing on a hard food that chipped the tooth
  • The filling is outdated and starting to leak
  • A new cavity wore away tooth around the filling

Whatever the cause, losing your restoration can be a bothersome sensation.

Here’s what to do if you experience this dental emergency.

Call a Dentist

Most dental offices can see you right away to address your emergency since they leave time in their schedule for cases like this each day. Call an office nearby to find out how soon they can see you.

When You Have to Wait

If you’re unable to see a dentist ASAP for any reason, the most important thing you can do is protect your tooth.

Avoid chewing on the side of your mouth with the tooth that’s missing a filling. Biting down on a weak tooth that has a hole in it increases the risk of it breaking even more.

Look for an emergency tooth repair kit in a drugstore. These kits contain a temporary dental cement. You can safely apply this cement yourself to protect and strengthen your tooth until you’re able to get the tooth properly repaired.

What if It Hurts?

A missing filling doesn’t automatically equal a toothache. But it’s normal for teeth to be sensitive after a filling falls out and leaves behind a gaping hole.

Here, too, a temporary filling will help insulate the exposed tooth nerves. A topical anesthetic can also aid in dulling pain.

Talk with your dentist to find out what you can do to keep your dental restorations snug in your teeth for as long as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
1816 Independence Square, Suite B
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 399-9199

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

Feb
14

Should You Replace Your Fillings?

Posted in Fillings

It would definitely be nice if your dental fillings could last forever.

The reality is, however, that no dental restoration can withstand a lifetime of use. From crowns to fillings to veneers, all will need to be updated at some point. This is because once your natural tooth structure is compromised, it has to be protected. Artificial protection wears away with time.

So yes, your dental fillings will eventually need to be replaced.

But how do you know when the time is right?

Reasons to Replace Restorations

People may opt to update their fillings at will just because they want prettier ones that blend in with their teeth. Classic metal restorations stand out and even the white composite ones can stain and break down. You may also choose to replace your fillings for cosmetic purposes.

Do you grind or clench your teeth? That habit contributes to premature wear on the fillings and teeth in many patients. Like them, you should reinforce weak spots with fresh strong restorations and then look into getting a guard to protect your new dental work.

Traditional amalgam metal fillings contain mercury. While this element isn’t enough to cause you any issues, some people like to clean out all traces of it, just to be safe.

When Not to Replace

After examining your tooth, your dentist may feel that it’s not worth replacing the fillings. Some of the reasons may include:

  • Your tooth is not structurally strong enough to support a larger filling
  • The filling is still holding up well
  • You have better option for restoring and supporting a tooth

If you’re in doubt about the integrity of your current fillings, plan a visit to your dentist to get a professional perspective.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

Jan
21

Why Don’t My Fillings Cost the Same?

Posted in Fillings

You might expect that dental fillings should cost the same across the board.

But there are actually some good reasons that they don’t.

Types of Filling Material

Gone are the days of solid metal fillings. Restorations now come in different materials for different purposes and each has its own price:

  • Composite resin (white)
  • Glass ionomer
  • Porcelain
  • Gold

Influence of the Local Economy

Dental offices located in metropolitan areas tend to be pricier in all areas of care. The cost of dental materials and labor will increase just as the cost of anything else does. Advances in technology for the dental field will reflect in the cost of things like dental restorations.

This means that the filling you got fifteen years ago will probably be far cheaper than one today.

How Large is Your Filling?

Even though your filling is one solid piece, it may cover different aspects of your tooth. Not all fillings are simply poured straight into the top part of your tooth. A dental restoration may need to replace the corner of a tooth or cover a portion of the side of the tooth.

Generally, fillings are priced based upon the number of surfaces they reach. A two-sided filling will cost more than one that just goes on the top of the tooth. A restoration that extends from one tooth side, over the top of the tooth, and overlaps to the other side will cost more than the two-sided one.

It makes sense – a multifaceted filling takes more time, skill, and material than others.

To find out what restorations are going for in your area, you’ll need to contact your local dental office. Schedule a visit for a cavity-check.

Posted on behalf of:
Marvin Village Dentistry
8161 Ardrey Kell Road
Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 579-5513

Nov
16

Signs Your Filling Needs To Be Updated

Posted in Fillings

It’s an unfortunate truth that fillings do not last forever. Your natural tooth structure is ideal. Only by keeping a natural tooth complete and clean can you make it last forever!

Once a cavity compromises a tooth, things tend to go downhill from there.

The goal of restorative dentistry is to keep your smile beautiful and comfortable, stalling or slowing that downhill process. A classic way to restore your tooth is with a minimally invasive filling.

Fillings replace gaps left by cavities and inhibit further decay. Although they fit very snugly in a tooth, fillings are still not quite part of your teeth.

Bacteria can still get in. And with time, the pressure of biting can cause changes in the shape of the filling and create gaps in the tooth around it.

As filling material ages, it breaks down. Metal tarnishes, composite resin stains, and both can chip away. Updating your fillings as soon as possible will minimize the amount of damage to your tooth.

Your filling is probably ready for an upgrade if you notice:

  • Unusual sensitivity in the tooth
  • Dark staining around edges of the filling
  • A toothache or sensitivity
  • Fractured pieces of dental restorations in your mouth or the food you chew
  • An unusually sharp edge on or inside your tooth

Your dentist will remove traces of the old filling along with any signs of returning decay. Your tooth will then be ready to receive an up-to-date, clean, comfortable, and secure new filling.

It’s never a good idea to just ignore a damaged or leaky filling! When the filling is compromised, then it simply can’t do its job of protecting your tooth. If you notice any of the above signs, schedule a visit to your dentist without delay.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Jan
25

4 Symptoms that Your Old Metal Filling is Wearing Out

Posted in Fillings

Years ago, metal fillings were commonly used to restore teeth that had cavities.  Now, composite or tooth-colored fillings are typically used for filling decayed teeth.  Since metal fillings are becoming “fillings of the past,” it is important to have your dentist specifically examine your old metal fillings to ensure they are sealed to your tooth properly and in good condition.

Since bacteria causes cavities and everyone has bacteria in their mouth, it is important for the dental filling to have a smooth surface with edges sealed to the tooth.  This will prevent the bacteria from leaking under the filling which would cause further decay.

Dentists will typically want to replace old metal fillings with the following symptoms:

  1. A cracked or chipped filling, which allows bacteria to leak under filling
  2. The filling’s edge is not sealed to tooth, allowing bacteria to leak and creating rough edges around the restoration
  3.  Worn out fillings, which can lead to dental decay around its margin
  4. Decay seen underneath a filling, with the help of an x-ray 

 Can metal fillings cause problems in my teeth?

Yes.  Since heat causes metal to expand, amalgam fillings expand with the heat in your mouth.  When this filling expansion occurs, this can cause fractures or cracks in your teeth.  At that point, a dental crown would need to be placed on the tooth to keep the fractured tooth together.

Do you have silver-colored fillings?  Visit your dentist, where you can have all of your metal fillings examined.  After your exam, your dentist can tell you what your best restoration options would be.

Posted on behalf of:
Family & Cosmetic Dental Care
2627 Peachtree Pkwy #440
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 888-3384

Jul
24

How Long do Fillings Last?

Posted in Fillings

Keeping your smile healthy will reduce the amount of treatments you need later on, like dental fillings. When you do need a dental filling you need to know the best way to care for it so that it will last as long as possible. Depending on the type, size and location of your filling, most of them last for several years after they have been placed.

Prevent New Decay from Forming Around Your Filling

Just because a cavity was removed and a filling placed into your tooth doesn’t mean a new cavity can’t form around the filling. Most people think this won’t ever be a problem, but it’s a reality. You need to change the dietary and oral hygiene habits that led to the cavity in the first place, or else the filling will have a new, larger cavity around it in no time.

Have X-Rays Taken at Least Once a Year

A clinical exam isn’t always enough to screen for leaky fillings or recurrent decay. With x-rays your dentist can see around the filling and areas that aren’t visible during the exam – giving you the opportunity to address problems when they are smaller, such as adding fluoride to your routine to stop decay before it spreads.  

Watch Out for Grinding and Clenching

If you are prone to clenching or grinding your teeth due to stress (or even chew on ice regularly), your tooth and filling may start to wear out, causing worse damage than there originally was. Wearing a bite splint or mouth guard can prevent the excessive wear and save your smile (and your tooth) for several more years.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

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