Dental Tips Blog


Porcelain Onlays and Inlays

Posted in Crowns

You may have heard the terms “onlays” and “inlays” mentioned among other restorative dental treatments. What are onlays and inlays? How can they keep your teeth healthy and strong?

Puzzle Pieces

Sometimes referred to as a combination of a crown and a filling, inlays and onlays fit into teeth like a custom-made puzzle piece. A fracture or decay in a tooth can end up being too extensive for the tooth to retain a simple filling. But if the damage is not too deep, then a crown may not be necessary.

An inlay or onlay would be the link that provides a middle-ground solution.

Inlays are called such because they would replace areas of the tooth that make up the “valley” or grooves of the tooth. Onlays serve the same purpose, but will also cover one or more of the “mountains,” or raised cusps of the tooth.

How They Are Made

Utilizing a photo of the prepared tooth and its neighbors, computer-assisted design technology is used to precisely measure the dimensions of your tooth. Then, a strong piece of porcelain is milled to fit the tooth’s dimensions exactly. This piece is cemented in, and the entire process can be completed in a single visit, in many offices.

The Benefits

Without removing as much tooth structure as a crown would, inays and onlays provide a virtually-seamless fit and more strength than a filling, alone. Porcelain inlays and onlays preserve the natural color and structure of a tooth.

Make an appointment to have a complete assessment of your dental needs. If some of your teeth need restoring, ask your dentist about porcelain inlay and onlay options.

Posted on behalf of:
Carolina Comfort Dental
5511 Raeford Rd #255
Fayetteville, NC 28304
(910) 485-0023


Retreating Failed Restorations

Posted in Fillings

What happens when your dental treatments begin wearing out? How do you know if it’s time to replace them or hope that they last a little bit longer? Retreatments are a common procedure in dental offices – after all, at some point in time all good restorations will begin to wear out (although hopefully not for several years.)

Spotting the Signs that Your Restoration Needs Replacement

Knowing what to watch for can alert you when dental fillings, crowns, or other types of restorations need to be changed out. For instance, you might begin noticing discoloration around a filling, sensitivity when you bite down, or food packing in areas that it didn’t before. These small signs are an indication that you need to see your dentist for a check-up.  

Regular Check-Ups Keep Your Treatment Needs Minimal

The earlier your dentist spots restorations that need to be changed out, the less invasive your replacement treatment can be. For instance, replacing an old filling with a new one only requires slight tooth alteration. However, if you wait too long to retreat the area, more leakage will occur which will damage the underlying tooth structure. Putting treatment off too long will require more invasive and expensive treatments that could have been avoided if it was addressed when symptoms first started.

Do you suspect that any of your dental restorations are beginning to wear out or require replacement? Contact your dentist for an exam and X-rays to find out! Regular check-ups twice each year are the best way to keep your smile healthy and minimize the amount of dental treatment later on. If you’re behind on your dental care, there’s never been a better time to catch up than today.

Posted on behalf of Toothmasters



Even If It Doesn’t Hurt, It May Still Be Hurting Your Smile

Your dentist told you that one of your teeth has something wrong with it, but you’ve yet to experience any symptoms whatsoever. Even on the x-rays, you can see the visible damage that your dentist has pointed out to you. Or, maybe you’ve seen the tooth with an intraoral camera and see exactly what is going on…but you’re still not convinced that you need to have it treated, simply because it does not hurt.

Putting dental care off simply because of the lack of symptoms such as pain or swelling is not a good indicator of whether or not treatment should be completed. There are many instances of severely decayed, fractured, or diseased teeth that cause no symptoms to the patient whatsoever, yet still allow dangerous infection to exist in the body of the patient. Waiting until the tooth hurts before having a filling or dental crown placed may even result in infections that require hospitalization. For instance, abscessed teeth may arise due to untreated tooth decay. These abscesses have the potential to enter into other areas of the head, causing infection in some instances even up to the brain. While this is not extremely common, it is not unheard of.

Electing to have restorative treatment performed before pain starts means that your care can be less invasive to the teeth, and ultimately save you money over the lifetime of your smile. Many severe dental treatments could have been prevented or affordably repaired if they were treated at the time they were first diagnosed. Don’t sacrifice the health and appearance of your smile, or your body. Routine dental visits help stop cavities in their track, and prevent complications later on.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mark Rowe, Rowe Family Dental Care



3 “Healthy” Foods that Can Hurt Your Teeth

Posted in Fillings

Have you ever eaten more of something because it was supposed to be “good” for you? Foods that are marketed as health foods or “less bad” foods may actually be just as bad if not worse for your tooth enamel, depending on the circumstances. Here are 4 foods that many people don’t think twice about consuming, thereby causing them to consume them far more often than they should.

Sports Drinks, Diet Sodas, Milk & Juice

You probably just read that and wondered why one or more of those drinks were listed there. Yes, milk is good for you and has important vitamins, but all of these drinks contain natural or artificial sugars that if drunk on a frequent basis throughout the day, will increase plaque levels in the mouth and lead to a very increased risk of cavities and the need for dental fillings. Even the very most athletic individuals who eat healthy throughout the day but drink 2 or 3 sports drinks when they’re at the gym can have extremely unhealthy teeth. 

Sugar-Free Candy

Candy has the ability to cling to the teeth, causing it to stay in place longer than other foods, especially chewy snacks like gummy bears. Acid levels rise, and tooth enamel is eroded, even with sugar substitutes. 

Fruit Chews

These “healthy” snack alternatives for kids that include gummy fruit snacks are not all what they seem to be (which is fruit.) They are also sticky and act just like the sugar free candy mentioned above. Instead, reach for fresh fruit, which provides more vitamins, nutrients, and actually cleans your teeth while you eat it.

Fresh is best. Fruits, vegetables, popcorn, cheese and water all make excellent snacks that improve your smile and your overall health!  

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




When Snacking Damages Your Teeth

Posted in Fillings

Eating on a few things here and there throughout the day, or a midnight snack every now and then might not seem like a bad thing, but it can actually increase your likelihood to develop tooth decay. It doesn’t really matter how “sugary” those snacks are, the fact that there are food particles to be broken down doesn’t make them any better. Anything from raisins, potato chips, fat free gummy bears or sports drinks has the potential to cause dental complications if you aren’t careful.

When you eat, those food particles are broken down and acidic byproducts form to aid in the digestive process. Some of these byproducts are seen on the teeth, as plaque. Constant plaque exposure to the teeth will cause enamel to demineralize, weaken, and eventually become decay. Tooth decay leads to the need for dental restorations such as fillings and crowns.   The acid is active for about half an hour, so every time you eat another snack, your teeth are getting an additional half hour of acidic exposure. Instead, it’s best to eat the food all at once rather than to drag it out for hours.

If you do find yourself craving a snack, be sure to drink lots of water afterwards to help reduce acid levels in the mouth. Reach for healthy snacks like fresh fruits or vegetables, which clean teeth while you eat them. Cheese is another great snack that can neutralize the pH in your mouth and give you much needed calcium. Restrict snacks to just once or twice a day, rather than eating a little bit on them all day long, and fill up on well-balanced meals that will satisfy you rather than leave you wanting something 30 minutes later.

Posted on behalf of Linda King DDS



Intraoral Cameras: Giving You A First-Hand Look

Seeing your teeth up close and personal is one of the best ways to understand the reasoning behind your dentist’s recommendations and treatment theories. With small mirrors and perfect lighting, your dentist or hygienist can see so many areas in your mouth that just aren’t visible at any other time. Now you can too! If your dentist uses an intraoral camera in their care facility, you can have a picture snapped of any tooth that is causing problems or in need of a dental filling or other dental treatment.

These high-resolution images are blown up on a computer or television screen, allowing you to see even the tiniest of cracks, leaky margins, or signs of decay. If your dentist tells you that a tooth needs to be fixed, you won’t have to say “but it doesn’t hurt!” you’ll actually be able to see why and understand why a certain type of treatment is best to help strengthen it.

Early treatment can help strengthen your tooth before it breaks down, even if you’re not experiencing symptoms. Capturing the images with intraoral cameras is also beneficial for filing insurance claims, or to monitor the progress of a tooth over time. The images can easily be printed, saved in your chart, or sent home with you to look over for future reference.

The next time your dentist tells you that a tooth needs to be worked on, ask to see it on the screen! You’ll have so much visual information that you’ll essentially be able to diagnose alongside of your dentist. Together, both you and your dental provider can work together to make the best treatment choices for a smile that lasts a lifetime.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.



Materials Used in Dental Restorations

Posted in Dental Implants

Dental restorations are materials or prosthetics used to restore the function of missing or damaged tooth structure, or to improve the appearance of the teeth. They include dental implants, crowns, bridges, fillings, inlays, onlays, obturators, and dentures.

Since dental restorations are worn or placed in the mouth for long periods of time, some of them permanently, it is important and worthwhile to know what substances and materials these restorations are made from. Although the dental restorations used in professional dentistry are FDA-approved, there is always the possibility of someone having an adverse reaction to the substances contained in them. Knowing what dental restorations are made of can help you make informed decisions about what you  introduce into your body.


Metal is used in a number of dental restorations including crowns, dentures, bridges, fillings, and implants. Silver-colored almalgam fillings are made from an alloy of mercury and various other metals including silver and tin. Metals is also used in dental crowns; the abutments and little screws and posts that are used to attach the crown to the jawbone are usually made from pure titanium or an alloy of this metal. Most dentures have metal clips and dental bridges can be made from cobalt chrome or gold alloys.

Composite materials

In the past few decades, dental restorations made from composite materials have been developed as an alternative to the earlier, metal prototypes. Dental restorations that are made of, or contain, composite materials include veneers, fillings, onlays, inlays, and dentures. The composites are typically acrylic-based and contain other substances like synthetic (plastic) resins and powdered glass.


Ceramics are used to make veneers, crowns, implants, onlays and inlays. The ceramics contain substances like lithium disilicate, feldspathic glass, fluorapatite crystals, and zirconia. Types of ceramics used in dental restorations include glass-ceramics and porcelain. Ceramic restorations are valued for their ability to mimic the look of natural enamel.

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