Dental Tips Blog

Jun
19

Should You Fill Your Own Tooth?

Posted in Fillings

At-home dental restoration kits claim that you can get great results with no drilling or anesthesia and at a fraction of the cost of a dental visit.

But performing your own dentistry isn’t as simple as it may sound. Dentists strongly discourage DIY dentistry because of the risks involved.

The Dangers of Filling Your Own Tooth

Properly restoring a tooth involves more than just filling a hole. Cavities are active bacterial infections. If the infection isn’t cleaned out before filling the tooth, the cavity will continue to spread through the tooth. Only a dentist using special drilling equipment can completely clear out a cavity. You can’t do this on your own if you fill your tooth at home.

There’s also the risk of placing too much filling material. This can make it impossible to floss around the filled tooth and can even throw off your bite.

If a dentist has to redo your DIY filling, your tooth may require more treatment than if you just had it filled in the first place.

When Should You Place Your Own Fillings?

If you’re taking a trip abroad or hiking out into the wilderness, then you might want to bring along a temporary dental filling kit. Temporary filling material can protect your tooth if you lose a restoration at a time when you’re far from a dental office.

Get Your Fillings Done Right the First Time

To save as much of your tooth as possible in addition to saving money see your dentist to get dental fillings done. You should also see your dentist soon after placing a temporary filling so that it can be replaced with a more permanent option.

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

Jun
19

How Dental Fillings Can Be Bad for Teeth

Posted in Fillings

Dental fillings are supposed to treat tooth decay, so you might be surprised to learn that they could be harmful to your teeth.

But how?

Fillings Weaken Teeth

When a dentist cleans out a cavity from your tooth, a little bit of the healthy tooth structure must also come out. This guarantees there is no compromised structure left under the filling.

Fillings need to be replaced when they break or wear out. And every time a filling is placed, a little more tooth structure is lost. This means that filled teeth will eventually get weaker and weaker over the years. Gradually, those teeth will need crowns, or possibly a root canal.

Fillings Are Prone to Decay, Too

Many people mistakenly believe that once a tooth is filled it’s set for life. In reality, the margin where a filling meets the tooth surface is the perfect place for a new cavity to start if you’re not great about brushing and flossing.

Dental Fillings Are Still Good for You!

Just remember that for as “bad” as dental fillings can be, not treating a cavity with a filling is even worse!

Fillings are usually the best solution for treating decay. The key is to treat cavities when they’re smaller, using less invasive methods.

All you can do is keep chasing down repairs in your teeth to make your fillings last as long as possible. If you get one while a cavity is still small, you stand a better chance of holding onto your tooth for life. Modern tooth-colored composite dental fillings are the most conservative restoration to date.

There are other options for restoring teeth depending on the extent of the damage. These include inlays and onlays. Ask a restorative dentist which procedure is best for you!

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

May
18

Why You Need a Filling Even if Your Tooth Doesn’t Hurt

Posted in Fillings

It might seem counter intuitive to fix a tooth that feels fine. But the thing about cavities is that they can do a lot of damage long before you notice any symptoms.

What Is a Cavity?

A cavity is a hole in your tooth caused by a bacterial infection. Harmful germs (which live in everybody’s mouth) eat the sugars and carbohydrates from the foods that you eat and produce an acid, which wears away tooth enamel. As the decay process continues, the cavity grows.

Why Cavities Don’t Always Hurt

Inner layers of your tooth have channels that lead to a larger nerve, but the hard enamel layer on the outside insulates and protects the more delicate parts. Your enamel doesn’t have any nerves.

When a cavity starts eating away at your tooth, you won’t feel much of anything, at least until the cavity has worked its way through your tooth and has exposed the sensitive dentin.

If you have tooth pain, it usually means the cavity is quite advanced.

Get That Filling Right Away!

Dentists can detect cavities long before they start to bother you. Dental x-rays are the main way to find the start of a cavity. Your dentist will likely recommend that you fill your cavity before it can get any bigger.

The sooner you treat a small spot of decay, the smaller the filling will be. Big fillings weaken teeth and ultimately lead to your needing a crown or extraction sooner rather than later. Take preemptive action by treating cavities while they’re still small and you’ll hold onto your tooth much longer.

Schedule a dental checkup to find out for sure whether you’re cavity-free or need some early intervention.

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

May
15

My Tooth Doesn’t Hurt. Why Should I Fill It?

Posted in Fillings

It’s hard to feel motivated to get a cavity filled if your tooth doesn’t hurt to begin with. But like any dentist will tell you, not all cavities cause pain!

Using dental X-rays is a great way to intercept tooth decay when it’s smaller and less-invasive to treat. In fact, we can sometimes stop cavities in their earliest stages before a filling is even needed.

But if you have a visible cavitation inside of your tooth — and continue to go symptom free — you should have it treated right away.

Cavities Spread…Fast

A small cavity on one tooth at your dental checkup, if it goes untreated, can quickly turn into two cavities by the time of your next appointment six months from now.

Not only do cavities “jump” from tooth to tooth, they grow larger. It’s possible to have an extremely severe area of tooth decay that extends well into the nerve of the tooth to the point of creating an abscess, without the tooth ever hurting.

Don’t Wait for it to Hurt

Pain is a symptom to look out for, but it’s not the only way to spot a cavity. A large number of dental fillings are placed on teeth that never hurt to begin with, but only show the physical signs of a hole eroding into the enamel.

If you really love your smile, you’ll treat the cavity before it hurts you or your pocketbook! Small fillings save you money and preserve the most amount of enamel possible.

Talk to your dentist today about how a small filling can help you avoid a crown or root canal later on.

Posted on behalf of:
Feather Touch Dental Care
1175 Peachtree St. NW Ste 1204
Atlanta, GA 30361
(404) 892-2097

Apr
24

How Do Dental Fillings Stay in Teeth?

Posted in Fillings

Have you ever wondered what makes dental fillings stay in teeth?

There are two main ways that this dental “magic” happens. The traditional method is mechanical, while the newer one is micro-mechanical. Once you understand the difference, you’ll be better prepared to choose the right kind of filling for your smile.

How Dentists Place Mechanical Fillings

Don’t let the term “mechanical” fool you; there aren’t any machines included in a tiny filling. Mechanical simply refers to how a filling physically locks with a tooth.

Traditional silver fillings set up quickly once the amalgam mixture is poured into a prepared tooth. It hardens, and the dentist shapes it to repair the tooth. But this material won’t stick to enamel like glue.

So, what the dentist has to do is create the base of the deeper layer of your tooth to be slightly wider than the opening at the top. After the liquid filling hardens, the tooth’s shape helps hold – or wedge it – in place.

What Is a Micro-Mechanical Bond?

Dentists set  composite resin tooth-colored fillings with a special light that results in a chemical reaction. Before pouring in the material, however, the dentist prepares the tooth surface by etching it with a chemical.

The roughened tooth surface then creates an easy place for the filling to grip onto as it hardens. This is called a micro-mechanical bond.

A micro-mechanical method is considered better than the traditional method since it lets the filling create a tighter bond with the tooth. This means that the tooth preparation doesn’t have to be as invasive.

Should you choose a conservative tooth-colored filling or the classic silver one? Contact a restorative dentist nearby to help you decide.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050

Apr
17

Have You Tried the Dental Filling-Crown Hybrid, Yet?

Posted in Fillings

When you get a cavity, your options usually include either a filling or a crown.

Did you know that you could get the best of both worlds?

There are dental filling- crown hybrids that many dentists use to restore and enhance teeth. They’re called inlays and onlays.

How Do Inlays and Onlays Work?

Inlays and onlays are called indirect restorations as opposed to direct restorations.

Direct restorations are fillings, which are packed directly into your tooth in one sitting. But an indirect restoration is based on a mold taken of your prepared tooth. The restoration is carved from a material (usually tooth-colored porcelain) and then that piece is cemented into your tooth at a later date.

This process is very similar to that of placing dental crowns. The only difference is that crowns cover the entire tooth while inlays and onlays replace a part of it.

So, inlays and onlays are strong like dental crowns but more conservative like fillings. This makes them the perfect hybrid for repairing teeth that need more support than a filling can give.

The hybrid restorations are called inlays when they replace a part of the “valley” in a molar. They become onlays when they have to replace part of a cusp or edge on a tooth.

Does Your Tooth Qualify for an Inlay or Onlay?

If you have a cavity that needs treatment, then an inlay is a great option. Some patients opt for an inlay even when their tooth doesn’t have much damage simply because they want a stronger and more lasting treatment.

Ask a restorative dentist about inlays and onlays the next time they recommend a filling.

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

Apr
14

The Truth About DIY Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Filling your tooth at home may seem like the easy way out when you want to save a buck or skip a trip to the dental office.

But DIY fillings aren’t the miracle solution they may seem to be.

DIY Dental Filling Kits Can Be Dangerous

Without actual dental treatment experience, you could put too much patch-up material in your tooth, damage your it further, or accidentally swallow something you shouldn’t.

Additionally, you can’t just cover over a cavity with filling material and call it good. Tooth decay is an active bacterial infection, and the cavity will only spread underneath the filling if a dentist doesn’t properly clean out the decay before filling your tooth.

You’ll Pay More for a Job that Wasn’t Done Right the First Time

Using a cheap DIY kit to fill your tooth may feel like a smart move. But you can end up spending more money for an actual dentist to repair the damage done by a kit you bought online.

Temporary Fillings Are Just That – Temporary!

There are plenty of products available in drugstores that are labeled as temporary dental cements. These kits contain a quick-setting filler and instructions for filling a tooth when you’re in a pinch.

But these kits are temporary for a reason. The cement isn’t the same kind of long-lasting filling material you’d get in a professional treatment. It only holds up for a limited amount of time (like while you’re away on vacation.)

Temporary cements are not substitutes for real dental fillings. They just tide you over when you’re in a situation where you can’t see a dentist.

Visit your dentist to learn more about the importance of professional dental fillings and alternatives that might be available.

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

Apr
9

Does It Hurt to Get a Filling?

Posted in Fillings

When you hear “dental filling” you might think “pain.” But that’s only because you need a filling to repair a cavity, which is painful.

Cavities are often painful because they are holes that expose the tooth’s nerve to uncomfortable elements in the mouth. That nerve is very sensitive to sweets, hot and cold temperatures, and acids. Decay removes some of your tooth’s protective layers and jeopardizes the nerve.

Getting a dental filling is what will help your tooth to feel better. It patches up the hole, to restore the insulation around your tooth’s nerve.

But does it hurt to have decay removed and filled?

Why Fillings Don’t Hurt

You will be numb for the entire filling process. Your dentist will give you an injection of anesthesia that dulls your tooth to pain. While the physical removal happens, you won’t feel more than a little pressure.

Cavity preparation removes only the rotten part of your tooth to keep the hollowed-out hole as small as possible.

The dentist then puts in the filling to seal off the opening left behind. Your patched-up tooth will be ready for action almost immediately after your appointment.

After the Filling

Even after your numbing injection wears off, you shouldn’t feel any pain. The only potentially painful part is the fact that your tooth nerve was exposed to food and air temperatures. The filling plugs up the opening and fixes that problem.

Some people experience a little sensitivity soon after getting a new filling, but their teeth quickly adjust.

It is very unusual to experience discomfort after getting a tooth filled. If you do, contact your dentist to have your restoration checked.

Posted on behalf of:
Buford Family Dental
4700 Nelson Grogdon Blvd. NE #210
Buford, GA 30518
678.730.2005

Mar
3

Do These 6 Things Before Bed Each Night to Lower Your Risk for Tooth Decay

Posted in Fillings

Say goodbye to tooth decay by adding a few important steps to your evening routine.

  1. Drink a Glass of Water

A hydrated mouth is key to keeping enamel strong and kicking out cavity-causing bacteria. Water can also help neutralize food acids from your dinner.

  1. Floss

Flossing prevents cavities between teeth. When you floss at bedtime, you’ll probably be in less of a hurry than if you did it in the morning.

  1. Brush for at Least Two Full Minutes

Don’t shirk! The longer you brush, the greater your chances of scrubbing away every bit of plaque that causes decay. Any plaque you leave on your teeth before bedtime will work all night long to wear down enamel.

  1. Don’t Rinse Out the Toothpaste!

It’s tempting to rinse out the foamy bubbles after you brush. But you’re better off leaving that residue there after spitting, since ingredients like fluoride keep benefitting your teeth while you sleep.

  1. Rinse with Fluoride Mouthwash

If your dentist recommends it, swishing a fluoride rinse for about a minute is a good way to strengthen your tooth enamel against bacteria acids.

  1. Varnish Weak Spots

Use an anti-sensitivity toothpaste as a varnish or condition on weak areas. Sensitivity toothpastes help strengthen enamel and deliver fluoride where it’s needed. Dab a little paste on exposed tooth roots, sensitive teeth, and dental fillings before you go to bed, and leave it there without rinsing.

Take advantage of the evening hours before bed to thoroughly clean and strengthen your tooth enamel. Your teeth (and bank account) will thank you for needing fewer fillings! Ask your dentist for more tips on preventing cavities.

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

Feb
17

4 Smile-Healthy Summertime Snack Ideas for Kids

Posted in Fillings

With warm weather comes the need for refreshing and energizing fuel to keep little bodies healthy all summer long.

Here are a few simple snack ideas that you can offer your kids without raising their risk for tooth decay. Read the rest of this entry »

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