What Options Do I have When It Comes Down To Fillings?

Mar 2nd, 2019
Easton Dentists Apr 2nd, 2019

So you have an appointment with Dr. Brad to fix a cavity, the decayed area has been removed, and the site has been cleaned and prepared for a filling. Now it comes time to choose the kind of filling material to complete the job? What are my options?  Well, that depends. There are durability, aesthetic, and price considerations involved in any of your choices, so let’s look at some options before you decide.

Gold

This is a classic choice for a reason. Gold is very durable and can last longer than fillings made from other materials. Because they are crafted from precious metal, gold fillings are more expensive than other alternatives. They are also most often indirect fillings—that is, they are not immediately placed in a tooth, but are formed based on a mold of your tooth taken on your first visit and set in position on a second visit. A gold filling is also noticeable, which can be a matter of concern or a style statement!

Metal Amalgam

An amalgam is a mixture, and an amalgam filling is usually composed of several metallic elements, including silver, tin, copper, and mercury. This filling is also very durable and is one of the most cost-effective choices. Its silver color does not blend into the tooth, so visibility is a factor. Amalgam fillings are considered a safe option, but, if you wonder about potential metal allergies or the amount and kind of mercury involved, we will be happy to discuss your concerns. One possible drawback to amalgam fillings is that sometimes more tooth structure needs to be removed to accommodate them, so this is also a subject we can discuss.

Composite Resins

These fillings are often selected because they are both durable and almost invisible when the color is matched to your tooth. Made of acrylic resin and powdered glass, a composite filling is what is called a “direct filling”—one that can be completed and bonded to the tooth in one visit. These are often more expensive than amalgam fillings, but might be preferable for cosmetic reasons, especially when a front tooth is involved. They also need less tooth structure removed to accommodate them and can be better bonded to small excavations than some other options. They can be prone to staining over time.

Ceramic

Ceramic fillings have the virtue of being virtually undetectable. They can be color-matched to your teeth for a seamless look, and are more stain-resistant than composite fillings. They are also a more expensive option, and, like gold fillings, can involve a two-phase process with a filling molded to fit the excavation site placed in your tooth on a second visit.

The Dental Center at Easton is happy to discuss all of your options before it is time to treat your cavity, since there are a number of factors which might impact your decision. A molar will require a more durable filling than a front tooth, while being less visible when you smile or speak. Insurance plans might pay for only a portion of a filling’s cost if it is more expensive than an amalgam, or will pay for a composite filling only if it is in a visible location. We can help you decide which filling best fits all your needs, providing you with the healthy and beautiful smile you deserve!

Effects of Soda on Your Teeth

Jul 23rd, 2018
Easton Dentists Jul 23rd, 2018

Ever seen those videos where someone puts a baby tooth in a glass of soda and watches it decay? Well, the effect of soda in an actual mouth is a bit different.

You have your saliva to help wash away the sugar, you eat other things throughout the day, and brush at least twice a day to remove debris or plaque. Nevertheless, soda is not something we recommend you consume more often than a once-in-awhile treat. Here’s why:

 

1. Sugar

Soda has an extremely high sugar content. The bacteria that cause tooth decay feed off of sugar and excrete acid, which is what causes tooth decay. The more sugar our teeth have to interact with, the more prone to decay they will be.

 

2. Acid

Think diet soda is a better alternative? Even though it contains zero sugar, it can still contain acids such as phosphoric acid or citric acid. Acid eats away at a tooth’s enamel and leaves it prone to decay.

 

3. Colors

Caramel color, Yellow 5, etc. Any type of artificial coloring can cause tooth-staining. If you prefer your teeth sparkling white, it’s best to stay away from soda.

 

Alternatives!

Instead of soda, we recommend spicing up your daily beverages with other alternatives. How about some sparkling water or plain water infused with fresh fruit?

When you do drink soda, make sure to rinse with water afterwards. And, as always, keep up with regular brushing and flossing to protect those precious teeth!

The First Dentist

Nov 5th, 2017
Easton Dentists Dec 5th, 2017

Dentistry has been practiced for at least 9,000 years and tooth extraction and remedies for toothaches have likely been around in some form for much longer. The first dentist whose name we know is Hesi-Re. He lived during the Third dynasty of Egypt sometime around 1600 B.C. In recovered documents, he is referred to as “Chief of Dentists and Physicians” and “Doctor of the Tooth.” He is recognized as the first person to discover periodontal disease.

Even before Hesi-Re, however, the practice of dentistry was well under way. The earliest evidence of dentistry has been found in present-day Pakistan. The evidence shows that members of the Indus River Valley Civilization cured dental issues with the use of bow drills. Essentially, the bow drill was the ancient, hand-powered antecedent of today’s dental drills. These drills predate the invention of anesthesia, which means treatment with them would have been very painful.

By about 4,500 B.C., fillings were being used. The oldest evidence of the use of dental fillings was found in present-day Slovenia and was found to be about 6,500 years old. It is possible that fillings of one sort or another were used before this time, but evidence has yet to be discovered. The filling that was found was made of beeswax and was packed into a tooth with a deep cavity. This beeswax filling was likely effective in reducing the pain and swelling that the cavity caused.

In the dark ages, advances in dentistry, as in many other fields, were lost. Dentistry was, for a time, no longer considered a unique practice and dental work was performed in large part by barbers and, sometimes, medical doctors. Barbers primarily focused on extracting teeth.

In 1723, modern dentistry was born with the publication of Pierre Fauchard’s The Surgeon Dentist: A Treatise on Teeth. This treatise offered a comprehensive approach to the care and treatment of teeth.

The dentists of today owe their knowledge to the innovators of 9,000 years ago and of yesterday, who did not settle with the status quo of dental care and who made today’s treatments possible. If you’re in need of today’s finest dental treatment, visit The Dental Center at Easton Town Center today.

Porcelain or Gold?

Aug 30th, 2017
Easton Dentists Sep 11th, 2017

When you need a crown, your main focus is probably getting it as quickly as possible so you can get back to chewing and smiling with confidence. Before you rush into the procedure, however, you may want to consider which crown material is right for you. The choice usually comes down to porcelain or gold.

Gold is frequently the material of choice for crowns on the back teeth. Gold is a popular choice because it requires few alterations to the tooth it is placed over and is very compatible with teeth and mouths in general. Gold is, however, typically limited to the back teeth because, of course, it won’t blend in very well with the rest of your smile.

Porcelain tends to be the material of choice for more prominently displayed teeth because it will not stand out from the rest of your teeth. There are, however, some drawbacks to selecting porcelain over gold. For one, installing a porcelain crown requires removing a great deal of the original tooth. In addition, porcelain is much more likely to fracture than gold.

Choosing the right material for your crown can be difficult, but, at The Dental Center, we’ll help you make the choice that is best for your unique dental needs. In addition, we’ll be with you every step of the way and we guarantee you’ll be impressed with the ease and comfort of our crown-installation process.

Amalgam Or Porcelain Fillings: Which Is Best For You?

Feb 22nd, 2017
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

If you’re going to be getting a filling during your next dental appointment, you need to consider your options. Among the choices are the traditional metal amalgam fillings and their modern porcelain counterparts. Getting up to speed on these 2 types of fillings will make it easier to choose one that’s suitable for your case.

Amalgam Fillings

This type of filling has been around for quite long, and is easily distinguishable thanks to its silvery color. Amalgam fillings are made using a mixture of metals. Most of them typically contain zinc, copper, tin and about 50% mercury. While the fillings are among the more affordable and long-lasting options, they’re marred by a handful of drawbacks.

Ceramic Fillings

Also known as ceramic fillings, these are the most widely used today. They are made by filling a methacrylate matrix with tiny porcelain particles, with the latter accounting for 80% of each filling’s content. The material used to cover the cavity is usually formed in a special lab.

Amalgam Fillings vs Porcelain Fillings

Because most insurers don’t fully cover the cost of ceramic fillings, they tend to be pricier than their amalgam counterparts. But as earlier mentioned, the latter option has quite a number of setbacks. The more notable of these include:

-Amalgam fillings are highly prone to temperature fluctuations. The filling weakens the tooth’s structure as it expands and contracts, and this could potentially cause it to crack.

-As time goes by, the silver color starts to darken. This diminishes the aesthetic appeal of one’s smile.

-While the level of mercury in amalgam fillings is certified as safe for people over the age of 6, it’s still a cause for concern.

Not only are ceramic fillings a good mercury-free alternative, but they also offer other benefits as well:

-Since ceramic fillings are made based on a scan of the patient’s teeth, they can be shaped to cover the cavities perfectly.

-Each filling is obtained from a homogeneous ceramic cube. As such, porcelain fillings maintain their size and shape, temperature changes notwithstanding.

-The insertion of ceramic fillings only requires a small space. This translates to less drilling, which in turn means patients are able to keep more of the healthy part(s) of their teeth.

-Porcelain fillings are less prone to discoloration. This, combined with the fact that they can be matched to the natural color of one’s teeth, adds up to a more aesthetically-pleasing result.

You can now see why ceramic fillings are the best option for your teeth. In recent times, manufacturers have developed superior composite materials for the construction of porcelain fillings. You can thus find quality ceramic fillings that are much more resilient when compared to their metal predecessors.

What Is A Filling And What Are Some Types Of Fillings?

Jul 21st, 2015
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Oral issues arise, and as hard as you try to take good care of your teeth, sometimes your dentist will have to step in and take the reins. If you are suffering from a painful cavity your dentist will likely want to do a filling, meaning that he will use a material to fill and restore any of your teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay.

Be sure to keep an open dialogue with your dentist about the type of filling you want, and which tooth requires the most immediate attention, should you only be able to do one at a time. Your dentist will be happy to assist you with any dental insurance issues you may run into.

During The Visit:
During your appointment your dentist will assess the damage to your tooth and decide how best to proceed. The procedure should take relatively little time, though it will require a freezing anesthetic. After the anesthetic is applied, your dentist will then begin removing unwanted decay from your tooth with a small drill. Once the hole has been made and all traces of cavity have been removed your dentist will begin filling and sealing the hole with a dental filling.

What Is A Filling:
Fillings are a highly moldable material, making it easier for dentist’s to expertly restore decayed teeth. There are several different types of filling materials; it will be up to your dentist to decide which will be right for your mouth. Some filling options include:

• Amalgam, or “silver” fillings were traditionally used to fill cavities and remained a standby for years. However, this dark color was lackluster in visual appearance, making it all too easy to spot a filled cavity within the mouth.

• Ceramic/Porcelain fillings, sometimes called inlays, are a great choice for those looking to mask the appearance of a tooth filling. These pearly white on lays a bonded to the teeth to create a seamless visual transition from one tooth to the next.

• Composite resins are a great option for those looking to color match their fillings. These fillings are designed to match your teeth, however may not be as longwearing as other filling materials, and are prone to stain.

• Glass or acrylic fillings are designed to release fluoride periodically and should only be used in low- traffic areas of the mouth, such as the front teeth. These options are commonly used to replace chipped or broken teeth in the smile.

• Gold fillings are a great option for those looking for a long-term filling. Gold fillings may last up to 15 years. While many people enjoy the long-wear and fun look of gold fillings, they can run more expensive than other filling materials.

Keep decay causing cavities at bay by maintaining a regular oral health regiment, brushing twice daily and flossing regularly. To schedule a dental appointment for a filling or checkup, or to figure out if you qualify for company plans dental insurance, contact The Dental Center at Easton Town Center at (614) 414-0111.