Dental Tips Blog


When You Don’t Agree with Your Dentist’s Diagnosis

Posted in Fillings

One of the biggest challenges that dentists face is when patients do not agree with the diagnosis of their oral health condition. Even when dental needs are very clear-cut, some patients remain confused about or conflicted with the recommended treatment that their dentist presents them with.

It is perfectly acceptable to see a different dentist for a second opinion related to your oral health needs. In fact, many insurance plans will allow for this simply because they don’t want to pay for unnecessary treatment for the people that they cover. If you’re getting a second opinion, you can bring your treatment plan with you or just let them know you’re there to see what they have to say so that you can compare your options. Keep in mind that in many cases, there are different treatment options and different dentists may have a difference of opinion on which is the most appropriate option for you.  For example, one dentist might recommend restoring a decayed tooth with a tooth colored filling while another may recommend placement of a porcelain crown.

If you don’t trust the diagnosis from your dentist, an important question to ask yourself is “why do I continue to see my dentist?” Dental care is just as much about restoring your broken smile as it is preventing oral diseases from happening. If you trust them for one, you should be able to trust them for the other. Find a dentist that you trust for all of your oral health needs!

The worst thing you can do if you disagree with your dentist’s diagnosis is to have it remain untreated, without considering discussing it again with them or seeking a second opinion. Chances are there are other treatment options available to you, even if they are not the first treatment of choice. Letting dental diseases go untreated will only lead to costly, more invasive treatment needs if you put them off until they really bother you. Minimally invasive, early dental care will keep your mouth healthier and preserve as much natural enamel as possible.

Posted on behalf of Group Health Dental


3 Reasons A Soft Bristled Toothbrush is Best

Posted in Fillings

Does a soft toothbrush really clean your teeth? Why aren’t medium or hard bristled brushes better, since they seem to be better at actually removing buildup from your teeth? Every dentist and hygienist will tell his or her patient that a soft toothbrush is better, but why?

#1: A soft bristled toothbrush is less likely to cause enamel abrasion.

Enamel is the hardest thing in your mouth, but it’s not immune to abrasion. Hard brushing back and forth with a stiff bristled brush can actually cause tooth enamel to be worn away, exposing the internal layers of the tooth. These areas appear darker yellow and look like notches worn right into the teeth. They’re irreversible and can only be repaired through placing bonding or a tooth colored filling over the area.

#2: Gum recession is a common side effect from stiff brushes.

Your gum tissue will creep back away from the tooth if it is traumatized. Scrub brushing not only wears away enamel, it makes gums recede, exposing your roots and making teeth appear longer. Gum tissue does not grow back and only gum grafting can help recover the root areas once again with tissue.

#3: You’ll be able to reach around the curves of your teeth better.

Soft bristles will conform better to the shape of your teeth, because they bend and flex better. A brush made of stiff bristles will simply “jump over” the curved areas between teeth, preventing plaque from being brushed away.

It’s time to ditch the stiff toothbrush. While it will take some practice to get used to a soft brush, it will be worth it! Your teeth will be just as clean, if not cleaner, and you’ll be able to protect the tissues in your mouth from damage.

Posted on behalf of Group Health Dental


Three Kinds of Dental Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Fillings are not just for cavities. Fillings are also used to repair cracked, broken or worn down teeth. There are several dental filling materials available. Teeth can be filled with gold, porcelain, silver amalgam and composite resin. Your dentist will discuss the best treatment plan for your situation.

Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings

  • Due to the ability to closely match the color of surrounding teeth, most patients prefer to have tooth colored fillings placed.
  • Composites chemically bond to tooth structure. This has an added benefit of providing further support.
  • Composite fillings wear out sooner than amalgam fillings. Lasting at least 5 years compared with amalgams lasting 10 to 15 years.
  • Due to the layering process to place a composite filling, your appointment can take up to 20 minutes longer.
  • Expense of composite fillings is higher than amalgams. Be sure to check with your insurance. Most insurance will pay at a downgraded pay scale for composite fillings vs. amalgam fillings.

Silver-Colored Amalgam Fillings

  • Amalgam fillings have the advantage of lasting twice as long as composite fillings.
  • This type of material is very strong.
  • Amalgam fillings are less expensive than composite fillings. Insurance does not downgrade payments on the amalgam fillings.
  • Amalgam fillings may detract from the beauty of your smile and can make a grayish tint to the surrounding tooth structure.
  • Often, more tooth structure must be taken away to make the space large enough to hold the amalgam filling.

Indirect Fillings

Indirect fillings are similar to composite fillings. These are made in a dental laboratory and require two dental visits before being placed. This type of filling is considered when there is not enough tooth structure to support a filling and the tooth is not damaged to the point of needing a crown.

Consult with your dentist as to the advantages and disadvantages of each type of filling for the specific tooth in question.

Posted on behalf of Group Health Dental

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