Dental Tips Blog

Oct
20

What to Expect When You Get a Dental Filling

Posted in Fillings

Does dental treatment make you a little nervous? Here’s what you can expect the next time you’re scheduled to get a tooth filled.

Anesthesia to Keep You Comfortable

To prepare your tooth for treatment, the dentist will make sure it’s fully numb. He or she will probably start by putting a little numbing jelly on your gums. This will help you not feel the tiny prick of the needle as the anesthetic goes in.

After waiting a couple of minutes to make sure your mouth is anesthetized, the dentist will start work on your tooth.

Remove Decay

The first step in placing a filling is to clean away the compromised structure. Your dentist will use an extremely small drill to ensure all of the cavity is gone without harming the remaining healthy tooth structure.

While this process is happening, water spray from the tool can fill your mouth. The assistant will vacuum excess water with a small suction hose.

Filling the Tooth

After removing the cavity, the dentist will place a liner that helps insulate the tooth. Next, the filling material is carefully piped into the opening. The dentist shapes the filling to make it flush with your tooth and then cures it with a special light to harden it.

Once the filling is done, your dentist will have you bite down on a piece of colored paper to see how it interacts with other teeth. If your filling looks and feels good, you’re done! You’ll probably still be numb from the anesthetic for a few minutes afterwards.

Ask your dentist for some post-filling procedure tips.

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

Oct
19

You Might Have a Cavity if You Notice One of These 8 Signs

Posted in Fillings

Pay attention to the signs and head to a dentist if you suspect that you have a cavity. Here are eight signs of decay to watch for.

  1. Tooth Pain

Pain is the most obvious sign that something is wrong. But you don’t have to wait until you’re hurting to see a dentist; you might notice one of the other following signs before you develop a throbbing toothache.

  1. Unusual Temperature Sensitivity

Teeth that are suddenly very sensitive to temperature changes may be affected by decay.

  1. Sensitivity to Sweets

If there’s already a hole in your tooth enamel from a cavity, then the spot may sting when it comes in contact with sugar.

  1. Stinging Pain When You Bite Down on Food

Teeth shouldn’t hurt when you chew. A tooth with a cavity may hurt when it’s put under pressure.

  1. Food or Floss Getting Stuck on Teeth

This is a sign that will let you know you have a pretty advanced cavity in between two teeth.

  1. Bad Taste in Your Mouth and/or Bad Breath

Rotting tooth material does give off a foul odor. You may notice this as a rotten taste in your mouth or someone may comment that your breath smells bad.

  1. Pits or Holes in Your Teeth

If you can see actual pits or holes in your teeth, then those could very well be cavities.

  1. Dark Stained Spots

Stain doesn’t always mean a cavity, but it can sometimes hide the beginnings of a new cavity.

Getting a filling isn’t much fun. The sooner you fill a cavity, though, the more likely you are to save your tooth. Visit your dentist as soon as possible.

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

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

Jul
29

Do You Really Need a Dental Filling?

Posted in Fillings

You might be a bit doubtful when your dentist tells you that you need another filling or two. After all, if you don’t have a toothache, then is there even a problem?

Here are a few ways you can find out for yourself whether or not you have a cavity that needs a filling.

Check the X-Rays

Your dentist will be happy to explain your dental x-rays to you and show you where you have active decay.

Cavities usually show up as fuzzy black triangles in tooth enamel on x-rays. If you have many of them that reach through the outer layer of your tooth, those areas will need to be filled.

Keep Track of Tooth Sensitivity Episodes

Sensitivity is often the first sign of an advancing cavity. You don’t need to wake up with a painful dental abscess to know that your tooth might need a filling. Decayed teeth usually show symptoms of sensitivity to temperature changes and sweets or sour foods.

Have you felt your teeth sting with discomfort when you chewed on a cookie or piece of sweet gum? That’s a pretty sure sign that you’ll need a filling.

When Was the Last Time You Saw a Dentist?

It’s time to be honest with yourself. If you haven’t had a dental checkup in years, then there’s a good chance your teeth have developed a few cavities during that time. It shouldn’t come as a surprise for a dentist to recommend dental fillings after a long timeframe without checking your teeth.

Ask your dentist about the best restorative options for your smile and some more information on how you can prevent future decay.

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

Jul
28

The 3 Things That Cause Tooth Decay

Posted in Fillings

There are three main things that come together to cause tooth decay. These are: bacteria, acids, and insufficient oral hygiene.

Were you surprised to see that sugar didn’t make the list?

Sugar does play an important role in cavity formation. But sugar by itself doesn’t actually cause decay.

Let’s take a closer look at the process that keeps dental fillings in style.

Bacteria 

Tooth decay is an infection of the tooth structure. There is a specific kind of bacteria that eats away holes in tooth enamel. The germs multiply as they invade their new home in the tooth and then work on enlarging it.

Virtually everyone is exposed to this bacteria at some point, picking it up from their parents while still very young; plus, the germs are impossible to get rid of. 

Acid Exposure 

Tooth enamel is very strong, but it is still susceptible to wear from acids. Acids thin out enamel and paves the way for cavity-causing bacteria to carry out their mission.

Those bacteria feed on the food your teeth come into contact with, and produce enamel-eating acid. The germs love carbohydrates, especially sugar. This is where eating a lot of sweets has an impact on your decay risk; every time you eat sugar, the bacteria generate an acid attack.

Acid exposure also comes through frequent vomiting or heartburn or sipping on sports drinks, soda, or fruit juice.

Poor Oral Hygiene 

Daily brushing and flossing and fluoride use are often sufficient to keep decay at bay. If you slack off, however, those germs will have the chance to proliferate.

Ask your dentist how you can improve your diet and oral hygiene to lower your cavity risk.

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

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

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