Dental Tips Blog

Jan
3

Answers to Your 6 Biggest Questions About Dental Fillings

Posted in Fillings

You know what dental fillings are but somehow, they’re still a mystery to you because you’ve never had one! Clear up the confusion with these answers to six of the biggest questions about fillings.

  1. Why Do I Need a Filling?

Dental fillings replace tooth material that’s been lost to cavities. This reinforces the tooth and prevents the cavity from turning into an abscess or infecting other teeth.

  1. Do Dental Fillings Hurt?

Tooth decay can hurt, but getting a filling doesn’t have to. The dentist will ensure that your tooth is numb before starting to drill. You won’t feel anything more than a little pressure.

  1. Are Dental Fillings Expensive?

The cost of a filling depends on where you get it, which tooth needs the filling, how big the cavity is, and which material your filling is made of. You may have dental insurance that covers the entire cost of a filling. Ultimately, getting your tooth filled is cheaper than waiting too long and having a root canal or extraction.

  1. How Long Will My Dental Fillings Last?

Dental fillings typically last five to ten years. It all depends on how strong the surrounding tooth is and how well you take care of your fillings.

  1. What Are Dental Fillings Made From?

Dental restorations are made from a variety of materials including: silver amalgam, gold, ceramic, porcelain, glass, and plastic blends.

  1. Will Anyone Notice That I Have a Filling?

As long as you opt for a composite filling made from a tooth-colored filling material, no one will ever know it’s there!

Would you like to learn more about fillings? For the answers to your other questions about restorative dentistry, contact a dentist near you.

Posted on behalf of:
Riverwood Dental
3350 Riverwood Pkwy #2120
Atlanta GA 30339
(770) 955-2505

Jan
3

Why Your Tooth Feels Weird Right After Getting a Filling

Posted in Fillings

Dental fillings are supposed to make decayed teeth feel better. But discomfort after treatment is not unusual. Here are a few reasons why your tooth might feel strange after getting a filling.

It Takes Time for Teeth to Adjust

It’s not every day that your tooth is opened, cleaned, and filled with a foreign material. Your tooth may need some time to adjust to the new arrangement. Also, your brain and tongue may be fixated on the new material in your mouth. Until your body gets used to the restoration’s presence, you might be abnormally fixated on that are, making your tooth feel odd, even though it really isn’t.

Your Tooth’s Nerve May be Sensitive or Compromised

It can take time for the nerve inside your tooth to get used to the new filling material. Give your mouth a few days to see if it calms down. If the sensitivity doesn’t go away or if it gets worse, then this could mean that the nerve in your tooth has been damaged.

The Filling May Need Adjusting or Replacement

Does your new filling just feel too big? That could very well be the case. Some dental restorations end up a little too high for the teeth to bite together. If you notice difficulty closing your teeth, stinging tooth pain, or a sore jaw, then this could mean that a large filling is throwing off your bite.

Alternatively, there could be a flaw within the dental filling material that prevented it from binding with your tooth.

Contact your dentist to find out what could be causing the uncomfortable sensation if your tooth doesn’t feel better within a few days of getting a filling.

Posted on behalf of:
Smiles by Seese
610 Jetton St #250
Davidson, NC 28036
(704) 895-5095

Dec
24

“My Tooth Already Has a Filling, So Why Does It Hurt?”

Posted in Fillings

It’s disappointing and a little scary to realize your tooth hurts even after it’s already been treated. But filled teeth are still just as prone to toothaches as any other. Here are a few possible reasons why your filled tooth might hurt.

The Filling Needs Adjusting

Your mouth was still very numb when the dentist finished your filling. You may not have been able to tell at that point how it felt. But once the anesthesia wore off, your tooth may have hurt due to the restoration being too “high” and bumping the opposing tooth prematurely.

The Tooth Needs More Treatment

The cavity your dentist tried to fill may have grown close to the nerve of the tooth. It could be that your tooth needs a crown or even a root canal since a filling as the first attempt is insufficient.

Your Tooth Is a Little Sensitive

It’s common to have temperature sensitivity within hours of getting a filling. As long as it’s just a little sensitivity and not a full-blown toothache, your tooth will get better on its own.

The Filling Is Old

All dental restorations do wear out at some point. If you’ve had your dental filling for more than 5-10 years, then you’ve gotten your money’s worth out of it. It could be too worn and chipped to protect your tooth any longer, so you may need to change it out.

Your Tooth Has a New Cavity

Cavities can actually form more easily around fillings than on smooth tooth surfaces. If your tooth hurts several years after getting it filled, you may need to have it treated for a new cavity.

Call your dentist as soon as possible to find out why your tooth hurts.

Posted on behalf of:
Bayshore Dental Center
810 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd #2900
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 330-2006

Oct
20

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

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
17

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

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

Jun
18

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

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
17

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

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