Dental Tips Blog


Make Your Dental Fillings Last as Long as Possible!

Posted in Fillings

Making your dental restorations last isn’t difficult; they need the same care and attention that your natural teeth do.

Practice Excellent Oral Hygiene

Dental restorations tend to fall out prematurely due to decay. So brushing and flossing will prevent new cavities from forming around or under your fillings. The key is to be thorough. Floss every day and brush for at least two minutes twice a day.

Watch Your Diet

Acidic foods wear away tooth enamel. If your diet is high in acids, the enamel around your fillings can erode and make them pop out.

Sugar is another threat to fillings. Sugar fuels cavity-causing bacteria. Foods high in sugar, especially liquid or sticky carbohydrates, will feed the germs that can trigger cavity development under your existing restorations.

Wear a Mouthguard

An athletic mouthguard worn during sport activities will protect your crowns, implants, bridges, and fillings from damage should your mouth suffer an impact. A custom guard worn at night can spare your fillings the premature wear of a teeth-grinding habit.

Use Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral that remineralizes tooth enamel by replacing inferior minerals in the structure. The result is tooth enamel that’s immune to decay. Your teeth need extra fluoride in areas that are weak or prone to cavity development such as the edges of fillings.

You can get fluoride in toothpaste and over-the-counter rinses. Your dentist can also provide you with prescription-grade fluoride formulations to give your fillings a solid grip on the teeth.

Remember, too, to visit your dentist at least twice a year for dental checkups. Exams and the occasional x-ray will ensure that your dental fillings have many years left in them.

Posted on behalf of:
Sapphire Creek Dental
2180 State Hwy 46 W, Suite 106
New Braunfels, TX 78132
(830) 549-2014


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


Are White Fillings Better Than Silver Fillings?

Posted in Fillings

Are tooth-colored tooth restorations better for your teeth? Or is it just a matter of color preference?

The Differences Between White and Metal Fillings

It’s about more than just color. Silver and white fillings are more different than you may imagine.

Metal fillings are made of silver, tin, copper, and mercury. These metals remain liquid until they’re mixed together in a special way. Then, they immediately become solid. This property allows metal fillings to be poured into prepared teeth and then molded for a snug fit before they quickly harden.

Silver fillings are highly noticeable, but they’re very strong. They so strong, in fact, that they can slowly crack your teeth as they shift with time and temperature changes.

Tooth-colored composite fillings are made from a mixture of plastic and glass. This makes them strong, smooth, and flexible. They are poured into your teeth in liquid form and then hardened with a curing light.

The composition of white fillings makes them much more compatible with natural tooth structure. They expand at the same rate your teeth do which lowers the chances of causing cracks. Additionally, tooth-colored restorations bond directly with your tooth enamel for a tighter seal. This allows them to be more conservative in shape and size than metal fillings.

Which Restoration Is Best for Your Teeth?

There’s a good reason most dentists now exclusively offer white fillings. You can still find some dentists who place metal restorations since they’re the stronger and cheaper option. But tooth-colored fillings are gentler on your teeth and look better.

The next time you need to fill a cavity, ask your dentist about the benefits of choosing a white dental filling.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care Center At Kennestone
129 Marble Mill Rd NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 424-4565


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


Do You Really Need a Dental Filling?

Posted in Fillings

Dental work can seem expensive, or uncomfortable memories may come to mind when your dentist recommends that you get a new filling.

Can you just skip the filling altogether? You might not want to after considering these facts…

What Dental Fillings Do

A restoration fills in the hole left by a cavity to restore your tooth’s smooth surface. This prevents food from getting stuck in your enamel and keeps new germs from setting up camp. Fillings also keep a decayed tooth strong so that it’s less likely to fracture.

What Happens if You Don’t Get That Filling

Cavities aren’t just a cosmetic issue. If left untreated, they can quickly spread to other teeth or even progress to the point that they cause an abscess.

Abscessed teeth can be extremely painful and usually require an extraction or root canal. Getting a filling in a timely manner can help you avoid such complications.

Alternatives to Dental Fillings

Depending on the extent of your tooth’s damage, you may need something other than a traditional metal or composite filling.

Dental crowns, for example, protect and reinforce entire teeth from the outside. These are best for teeth with extensive decay damage.

Inlays and onlays are other options. They’re made outside the mouth and then inserted into the prepared tooth in one solid piece, like a crown. Like a filling, however, onlays and inlays only replace part of a tooth instead of covering it entirely.

You may be able to reverse extremely new cavities (demineralization) if you treat them with fluoride before the erosion cavitates its way through your enamel.

Only your dentist can determine which teeth need a filling and which don’t. Plan a trip to the dental office to find out what your smile needs.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care Center At Kennestone
129 Marble Mill Rd NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 424-4565


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


Is It Possible to Cure Cavities at Home?

Posted in Fillings

Before you try to save on your next dental bill by attempting a DIY cavity cure, take a moment to consider the facts.

You Can’t Cure Cavities

A cavity is a patch of irreversible damage to tooth structure. Teeth are harder than other body tissues and made from very unique materials. They just can’t heal like wounds in bone, muscles, skin, or other tissues.

Cavities are a sign of an active and aggressive bacterial infection. They are caused by germs that feed on the sugar and carbohydrates you eat, then secrete an acid that eats through teeth.

Tooth decay presents a compound problem: you have to both stop the bacteria from progressing and reinforce the tooth so that it doesn’t break.

How Teeth “Heal” Themselves

Tooth enamel, the protective outer layer, forms while teeth are still developing in the jawbone. After it forms, that’s all you get – it doesn’t grow back once lost.

The enamel layer weakens when it loses minerals, which is the first stage of decay. If you catch this process in time, you can remineralize weak areas. But these spots are hard to detect, especially if they form between teeth.

Unlike the enamel, your teeth can deposit a layer of protective dentin to fight an invading cavity and repair the spot. But this process usually can’t keep up with the rapid rate of decay.

Why You Need to See a Dentist 

By the time you notice a cavity in your tooth, it’s already too late. All the rinses, diet changes, and vitamins in the world probably won’t be enough to stop it in time.  Treatment and restoration of the damage caused by tooth decay typically involves placing a filling or crown.

Ask your dentist about safe and successful treatment options for tooth decay.

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


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


4 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Dental Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Are any of these facts news to you?

  1. Mercury Fillings Aren’t Poisonous

Amalgam (silver) fillings that contain mercury are not considered dangerous, so there’s no need to panic if you still have metal restorations.

The mercury in metal fillings can’t harm you, since inhaling a mercury vapor is what’s really toxic to humans. Your restorations don’t give off enough vapor to cause any toxicity. But if you’re still worried about them, your dentist can offer a safe removal method.

  1. The Oldest Known Dental Fillings Are Roughly 13,000 Years Old

In 2017, archaeologists at the University of Bologna discovered a human body that had teeth with evidence of dental work dating around 13,000 years old. Two front incisors appeared to have holes in them that were drilled with stone tools and then filled with a tar-like mixture.

  1. White Fillings “Move” with Your Teeth

Tooth-colored composite dental fillings are made from a material that contains a combination of plastic resin and glass. The result is a strong restoration that bonds with teeth and also moves with them.

Your teeth feel hard, but they actually expand and contract on a microscopic level with temperature changes. Metal fillings expand and contract too rapidly and this extreme activity can damage teeth from the inside. But white fillings move at the same rate natural tooth structure does, making them much a much more gentle and conservative restorative option.

  1. Dental Fillings Are Preventable!

Dental treatment doesn’t have to be inevitable. By cutting down on your sugar consumption, using fluoride toothpaste, and practicing good oral hygiene, you can lower your risk for needing a dental filling.

Talk with your dentist about other preventative dental treatments like sealants and fluoride varnish.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064


5 Signs You Need a Dental Filling

Posted in Fillings

You woke up with a toothache and now you’re terrified that you need a filling.

What are some of the signs that you may need dental treatment?

  1. Broken Old Fillings

Do you have any existing fillings that are in bad shape? Damaged dental work should be repaired or replaced completely to protect your tooth. Chipped, stained, or missing restorations are a good sign that you could use a new filling.

  1. Dark Stain on Your Tooth

Not all cavities are brown or black, but an unusual spot of stain on your tooth could indicate an area of decay that needs to be filled.

  1. Tooth Sensitivity

Does your tooth zing painfully when you breathe in cold air, sip on a hot drink, or chew on something sweet? Tooth sensitivity is a sign that your tooth could be damaged by decay and your nerve is now a bit exposed to the elements.

  1. Food Getting Stuck in Your Tooth

If you have a cavity, then you may get food stuck in the hole every time you eat. This can lead to sensitivity, bad breath, and a bad taste in your mouth.

  1. Floss Catching on Your Tooth

If you floss on a regular basis, you’ll know something is wrong when the floss gets stuck between teeth where it never got stuck before. Snagging floss can be an indication that you have a cavity eating a hole into the side of your tooth.

Think You Need a Filling?

The best way to find out for sure whether or not you need a filling is to see your dentist. Your dentist can visually examine your tooth and check it with x-rays for earlier, less-invasive treatment.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

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