Why Tooth-Colored Fillings Are More Preferred Than Others

The Most Natural-Looking Dental Filling

Dentists are finding more and more of their patients opting for tooth-colored fillings to fix damaged teeth. The most important reason for this preference is the natural and pleasing aesthetics that these fillings provide. The filling is the same color as the rest of one’s natural teeth so that a difference could not be detected. There are other advantages of tooth-colored fillings in spite of a few challenges.

Tooth-colored fillings are also called composite resins, and more popularly, white fillings. They are made from materials of the same color as natural teeth, thus restoring the natural appearance of a decayed or previously filled tooth. As fillings, they blend well with the enamel and don’t look like fillings. It is mostly recommended for the front teeth, but they can also be used for the more posterior teeth.

Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, are durable and resistant to fracture if placed in teeth that can withstand moderate forces and constant pressure from chewing. The filling works best in small to moderate size prepared cavities. Due to the filling’s capability to bond to teeth adhesively, when preparing the tooth to receive the filling, your dentist will remove less of the healthy tooth, and not too much. However, if the decayed area is large or is subject to heavy chewing, another type of restoration may be recommended by your dentist.

The procedure to place a composite resin may generally take longer than a metal filling, such as amalgam or gold. This is because your dentist will require a completely clean and dry area to work on when applying the filling. However, composite fillings can usually be done in one visit.

Composites may cost more than amalgam, but patients who prefer that more natural look would find the cost worth it. And like other restorations, these tooth-colored resins may require replacement from time to time. Hence, in order to preserve the life of your composite, avoid tooth decay that may develop elsewhere around the tooth. The practice of proper oral hygiene cannot be expressed enough; as well as regular visits to your dentist that can spot issues early.

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Learning More About White Fillings in Bellevue

When you are intending to have white fillings, or tooth-colored fillings, see us at Overlake Dental. Consult with our Bellevue dentist for a in-depth appreciation of dental fillings.

When Is A Dental Crown Necessary?

Uses, Process, and Types of Crowns

What is a dental crown, or simply “crown”? It is basically a “cap” that your dentist places over your natural tooth that can still be saved. It encases the entire visible tooth, at and above the gumline. It looks like a tooth, of the same shade, shape and size as the tooth being replaced. The former tooth may be damaged, decayed, broken, or discolored, and the crown aims to restore its appearance and function.

What situations may need crowns? Crowns are needed in the following situations: to restore a broken or cracked tooth, or a severely worn down enamel, to protect a weakened tooth from further decay, to replace a tooth that has little structure left because of a large, removed filling, to cover a badly discolored tooth, to cover a dental implant, and to hold a dental bridge in position.

This is how crowns are made and attached. Your dentist first reshapes the crown of your tooth by filing, especially along the chewing areas to make room for the artificial cap (local anesthesia may be required). Then a paste or putty will make an accurate impression of the trimmed tooth (or a digital scanner if available) to include neighboring teeth so that the bite is not affected by the new crown.

This will be sent to a dental lab where the crown will be manufactured, allowing a week or so for its return. In the meantime, a temporary crown will be fitted. On your second visit, the temporary crown is removed and if the shade and fit of the new crown are acceptable, your dentist will permanently cement it in place. Local anesthetic applies as well.

There are different makes of permanent crowns depending on its purpose. There is the stainless steel crown, a prefabricated crown usually used as a temporary measure. Pediatric patients are ideal targets because it can fit over a primary tooth as protection until it falls off as the permanent tooth erupts.

Metal crowns have alloys with a high content of gold or platinum, or base-metal alloys like cobalt- chromium and nickel-chromium. They are very strong and durable. Its metallic color is a drawback, hence, they are more suitable for molars.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are a better color-match. Porcelain looks like normal teeth, but are prone to chipping or breaking, and the metal part may show through as a dark line sometimes. However, they are good for front or back teeth; also do well as long bridges because they provide strength. All-porcelain crowns, on the other hand, are more natural-looking and ideal for patients with metal allergies. All-resin crowns are less expensive than other crowns though not as durable against fractures.

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Learning More About Dental Crowns in Bellevue

If there is a need for you to replace a tooth or two because of decay, discoloration, or breakage, come see your Bellevue dentist here at Overlake and let’s talk about crowns.

When Your Dentist May or May Not Prescribe Antibiotics

Cautious Use of Antibiotics in Dentistry

When you are suffering from a toothache or tooth pain, you would probably go see your dentist and ask for an antibiotic prescription. Your dentist may or may not agree because it depends upon the cause, and avoided as much as possible unless absolutely necessary. Let’s understand antibiotics first to confidently communicate with your dentist.

First of all, your dentist would give you an oral examination and ask about your symptoms. For example, you complain that your tooth hurts when you take hot or cold foods, or sometimes it hurts for no apparent reason. The dentist may give you a pain reliever, such as acetaminophen; or the same after you’ve had a tooth extraction or two. You might have a localized infection, confined to the pulp of a tooth. Even this does not require antibiotics. However, if the infection has spread and manifests as fever, then antibiotics may be required.

What are the guidelines of the American Dental Association (ADA) on antibiotic prescription? Here is the 2019 Antibiotics for Dental Pain and Swelling Guideline: “The guideline recommends against using antibiotics for most pulpal and periapical conditions and instead recommends only the use of dental treatment and, if needed, over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.”

“Instead of prescribing antibiotics, dentists should prioritize dental treatments such as pulpotomy, pulpectomy, nonsurgical root canal treatment, or incision and drainage for symptomatic irreversible pulpitis, symptomatic apical periodontitis, and localized acute apical abscess in adult patients who are not severely immunocompromised.”

“If a patient’s condition progresses to systemic involvement, showing signs of fever or malaise, then dentists should prescribe antibiotics.”

Antibiotics do not have the same effect for everyone. While they are meant to treat painful infections, they can produce unwanted side effects in others. Most of the time yeast infections, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are some side effects associated with antibiotics. Allergic reactions may also happen. Antibiotic overuse is harder to manage. It may lead to growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria among individuals.

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Looking After Antibiotic Safety in Bellevue

Our experienced and reliable staff at Overlake Dental is aware of the cautious use of antibiotics in dental practice. Rest assured we provide excellent oral care for a wide variety of issues that may or may not require antibiotics.

How Can I Avoid Enamel Erosion?

Treatment And Prevention

When you already have tooth enamel erosion, its treatment will depend on the cause. When you consult your dental professional about it, you will be given some options to treat the problem. There are also many easy tips to consider to avoid subjecting your teeth to this condition. Read on and know.

Treatment of tooth enamel loss depends on the problem. There are restorative procedures to consider. The most common one is to use fillings. These may be sufficient to cover small areas of erosion. Sometimes tooth bonding is used to protect the tooth or multiple teeth and improve aesthetics.

If the enamel loss is extensive and fillings are insufficient, the dentist may recommend covering the tooth with a crown. Crowns may protect the tooth from further decay. For multiple teeth veneers are permanent solutions. In very severe cases, tooth extraction may be recommended, or even a root canal.

  1. To help protect and restore your enamel consider some tips to help you reduce your risk for tooth enamel erosion.
  2. Maintain regular and proper oral hygiene. Use fluoridated toothpaste when brushing twice daily. Also floss at least once daily. Fluoride can neutralize plaque bacteria and prevent gingivitis while repairing weakened enamel. Remember to always brush gently.
  3. Minimize or avoid food and drinks high in acidic content, sugar and starches, whether they be meals or in the form of snacks.
  4. If you must, use a straw when consuming acidic drinks. This will lessen the contact of these liquids with the teeth surfaces.
  5. After an acidic meal, be sure to gargle and rinse your mouth with water. Do not brush immediately but wait for an hour, for you will only spread acid over the teeth surfaces with brushing.
  6. Hydrate by drinking water throughout the day, especially if you suffer from dry mouth.
  7. Encourage more saliva flow by chewing on sugarless gum. Other types of sugary gum will only be more harmful than good as sugar attracts bacteria and promotes more acid.
  8. Seek medical attention if you suffer from conditions like reflux disease, heartburn, and bulimia.
  9. See your dental professional if you suffer from teeth grinding or bruxism. Your dentist may prescribe you a night guard or mouth guard to protect your teeth.
  10. Have dental visits every six months for professional cleanings and checkups.

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Offering Recommendations For Tooth Erosion in Bellevue

Know more about our options when you are experiencing tooth erosion. We have several services to address enamel loss, as well as more tips and recommendations that are easy to follow.

How Do I Know I Have Enamel Erosion?

Watching Out for the Causes and Symptoms

What is the purpose of tooth enamel?

The enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth, which acts as the protective covering of your teeth. Though translucent and thin, it is the hardest tissue in the entire body. It provides protection from daily chewing, biting, and grinding; it insulates the teeth from temperature extremes and onslaught of chemicals. Be that as it may, the enamel can still chip, break, or crack from certain forces. It can erode via a gradual wearing away that can expose the inner layer.

Teeth erosion happens in excessive or repeated exposure of the teeth to acid. For example, frequent consumption of pure fruit juices and carbonated drinks increases the risk for tooth erosion. Another lifestyle habit, such as binge drinking, can also cause the same. This is even though your saliva, which naturally contains calcium, can help neutralize the acid in sparse or moderate consumption of these intakes. A diet high in sugar and starches, such as sour foods, cakes and candies, can also erode the enamel gradually.

There are also other causes of tooth erosion apart from diet choice. Acid reflux disease, where stomach content goes up the esophagus, bulimia, where vomiting is frequent, or dry mouth syndrome, where saliva production is low or insufficient, are conditions that make teeth prone to enamel erosion. Teeth grinding or bruxism that causes tooth-to-tooth friction, as well as hard brushing and biting on hard objects, like ice, fruit, nails, among others, are other culprits.

What are the symptoms of tooth erosion?

Pain is common as the teeth become overly sensitive to hot or cold food or drink or other stimuli. Another is discoloration where teeth become increasingly yellow, exposing the dentin underneath the enamel. Teeth may appear transparent, smooth or shiny around the edges indicative of enamel loss. When erosion sets in, your teeth may have cracks and dents in those areas that involve chewing food.

When enamel erodes, the tooth is more susceptible to cavities or tooth decay. The outer layer is weakened and can become brittle. If left unattended, the whole tooth may be compromised.

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Looking Out For Tooth Erosion in Bellevue

If you are experiencing the symptoms just described above, you may be experiencing tooth erosion. Come see us for a consultation here at Overlake Dental, your friendly Bellevue dentists.