Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Many of us have dental fillings in place for many years and the question becomes when should they be replaced? Dental fillings are man made materials used to replace tooth structure that has been damaged by tooth decay. The dental filling will allow your dentist to restore both function and shape of your tooth back to its natural form.

Types Of Dental Fillings

-Amalgam (Silver). Use of amalgam has seen some controversy over the years due to its mercury content. Amalgam is made up of a mixture of various metals. Use of amalgam has some drawbacks (beyond its mercury content) which include:

1. No Bonding Properties. Amalgam cannot be bonded to existing tooth structure. This means that a tooth must be over prepared removing more natural tooth structure than necessary to ensure the amalgam filling will hold in place.

2. Not A Cosmetic Restoration. Amalgam is a darker color and cannot be matched to your existing teeth.

3. Increased Risk Of Tooth Fracture. Another disadvantage to using a metal allow is that it can expand and contract over time based on your oral environment. If the metal allow expands too much it can cause your tooth to weaken and fracture over time.

-Composite Resin. This has become the preferred dental restoration for most dentists and patients. The advantages of composite resin include:

1. Cosmetic Restoration. Dental composite is a tooth colored material that can be matched to your existing teeth. If done properly a dental composite can match perfectly to your natural teeth.

2. Excellent Bonding Properties. Unlike dental amalgam restorations, a composite resin filling can be directly bonded to your natural tooth structure. This creates a stronger attachment to the teeth.

3. Conservative Restoration. Since a composite resin can be bonded directly to the tooth much less natural tooth structure needs to be removed. There is no need to take away any more tooth structure than is absolutely necessary to restore the tooth back to its natural form and function.

The main disadvantage to the use of composite resin is the presence of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in some dental composites. If this is a concern to you, ask your dentist if they are using BPA free dental composite.

Signs A Dental Filling Needs To Be Replaced

-Temperature Sensitivity. This can be quite uncomfortable but it is important to see your dentist when it arises. If the pain goes away after exposure to hot or cold after a few seconds, it is usually repairable but if the pain lingers for a longer time after removal of exposure, it may indicate damage to the nerve that cannot be repaired with a simple dental filling.

-Pain Upon Biting. This can indicate a fracture beginning in your tooth from an existing dental restoration.

-Throbbing, Constant Pain. If the tooth decay reaches the nerve of the tooth it will create a toothache pain. Root canal therapy may be required at this point.

-Fractured Dental Filling. If you notice a piece of your dental filling has broken off you need to see your dentist immediately to have it repaired or replaced.

Conclusion

Being aware of your signs and symptoms is key to knowing when to see your dentist. Regular dental examinations and dental x-rays are needed to fully evaluate your existing dental fillings and give your dentist all the information needed as to when your dental fillings need replacement. It is best to diagnose replacement as soon as possible to avoid more extensive dental work.

Tooth sensitivity is tooth discomfort in one or more teeth that is triggered by hot, cold, sweet, or sour foods and drinks, or even by breathing cold air. The pain can be sharp, sudden, and shoot deep into the nerve endings of your teeth.

Sensitive teeth is a very common issue for many adults in America. Sensitive teeth occur when the layer under the enamel (the dentin), or cementum (root area) of your teeth becomes exposed as a result of receding gum tissue. These unprotected surfaces, which are not covered by hard protective enamel, contain thousands of tiny tubules leading to the tooth’s nerve center (also called the pulp). These dentinal tubules allow the hot, cold, or sweet food to reach the nerve in your tooth, which results in the pain you feel.

Sensitive Teeth Home Remedies

If you develop tooth sensitivity in one or more teeth, first see your dentist for an examination to determine the cause. Then, if your sensitivity is caused by simple enamel abrasion or by gum recession, try the following home remedies for relief:

-Desensitizing Toothpaste. Unfortunately, tooth sensitivity over a wide area due to enamel abrasion or recession at the gum line usually cannot always be treated with dental fillings. Instead, it may be recommended that you try brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste. These toothpastes are available at your local drug store. These toothpastes contain ingredients that reduce tooth sensitivity by filling in the tubules in the dentin. Another good tip is to put some of the toothpaste on your finger and spread it over the sensitive spots in your mouth before you go to bed. You can spit out excess but do not rinse otherwise you will wash it off. The tooth sensitivity should be reduced over the course of a few weeks. A good toothpaste for sensitivity is Colgate sensitive Pro-relief.

-Fluoride Rinse. Stannous Fluoride rinses can help decrease sensitivity, especially for people plagued with decay issues. There are certain instances where patients need a stronger fluoride rinse than available at the local drugstore. During some periodontal disease treatment, teeth can become more sensitive than usual until the gum tissue heals. Dentists will then prescribe a higher concentration fluoride rinse to use.

-Maintain Good Dental Hygiene. Keep your teeth clean through brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Plaque, the white substance that forms on and around teeth, produces an acid that irritates teeth, especially if your teeth are naturally sensitive. It is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day (preferably after eating and definitely before bed) and flossing at least once per day.

-Use a Soft Bristled Toothbrush or a Mechanical Toothbrush. Using a tooth brush that is too hard or being too aggressive while brushing can actually damage your teeth’s enamel. When the gum line recedes, the exposed dentin along the root becomes even more vulnerable to abrasion. Using a brush with soft bristles along with a gentle touch works far better in the long run. A good option is the Rotadent electric toothbrush. The Rotadent has very soft bristles and the action of the brush does all work effectively cleaning your teeth without doing any unnecessary harm.

-Decrease Acids in Your Diet. Carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, and vinegar can increase sensitivity. If you combine acids with sugar as in sour gummies, you can cause yourself hours of aching teeth.

-Be Careful of Temperature. Extreme hot or cold should be limited. If cold, use a straw. If too hot, let it cool down a bit before consumption. Never follow one temperature extreme with the other. Drinking hot coffee after ice cream is sure to increase your sensitivity dramatically.

Sensitive Teeth Conclusion

These at home remedies are to be utilized after seeing your dentist to get a full evaluation as to why your teeth are sensitive. Figuring that out should always be the first step to ensure the sensitivity is not from a tooth fracture or tooth decay. The remedies above will help resolve limited tooth sensitivity so it is not as big an issue for you and you can resume eating and drinking your favorite items.

What is a Cosmetic Dentist? A cosmetic dentist performs dentistry that is focused on creating a positive, more aesthetic change to your teeth and smile. The majority think of tooth whitening or porcelain veneers when the idea of a cosmetic dentist comes to mind, but a well educated cosmetic dentist can provide much more. A skilled, well trained, experienced cosmetic dentist can make a major difference to improve your appearance, your smile, and even boost your self-esteem, and confidence. Cosmetic dentistry has evolved in such a way that cosmetic dentists can address aesthetic as well as functional concerns.

A cosmetic dentist will focus on altering your existing dental condition and features to increase your appeal esthetically. This can be accomplished in a number of different ways. These include cosmetic dental implants, tooth whitening or porcelain veneers. Millions of people around the world regularly schedule appointments with a cosmetic dentist for evaluations and treatment.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentist – Teeth Whitening and Porcelain Veneers

A Cosmetic dentist will also provide restorative benefits. For example, dental fillings are a routine procedure used to treat decayed teeth. In the past, most dental fillings were composed mostly of metal and other materials that left visible dark spots on the teeth. Today, dental fillings can and do fall into the realm of cosmetic dentistry. This is because you can select fillings made of porcelain or composite materials that can match the color of your teeth. This allows a patient to maintain the natural appearance of their teeth and smile. Many patients may choose to have their older colored fillings replaced with newer, tooth-colored fillings to cosmetically enhance their smile.

Advances in technology that have created natural looking, tooth colored dental materials allowing for more durable and predictable results than in years past.  These new materials also allow cosmetic and general dentists the ability to use more conservative techniques to preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible, depending upon your personal clinical condition that you present with.

Cosmetic Dentistry procedures include:

-Teeth Whitening or Tooth Bleaching. Teeth whitening is probably the most common and popularprocedure avilable thru your cosmetic dentist. Teeth often present with staining from smoking, food, drink (coffee, tea, sodas, or wine) or poor oral hygiene. Many whitening options are available, including over the counter products, dentist supervised treatments remain the recommended procedures for best results .Whitening is a quick and effective way to make a dramatic difference in your smile.

cosmetic dentist

Cosmetic Dentist – Dental Bonding

-Dental Bonding. Dental bonding allows the cosmetic dentist to restore chipped, broken, discolored or decayed teeth. A dental composite material is used with the look of enamel and dentin. It is applied into the cavity or onto the surface of a tooth, where it is then sculpted into shape, contoured and cured with a high intensity light. The result is one that blends invisibly with the remainder of the surrounding tooth structure and the rest of your natural teeth to create a healthier, brighter smile. One which only you and your cosmetic dentist would know anything was done. This procedure offers very quick results and can even be a substitute for the need for limited orthodontic movement (braces).

-Inlays and Onlays. These are also referred to as indirect fillings. Inlays and onlays can be made from porcelain or composite materials. They are a long lasting yet very cosmetic way to provide a filling to teeth with tooth decay or fracture. Whereas dental bonding is molded into place while the patient is in the chair during a dental visit, inlays and onlays are created in a dental laboratory by a technician before being fitted and bonded using adhesive by your cosmetic dentist. Inlays and onlays are a more conservative treatment vs a crown. A cosmetic dentist can place these where no one would know they were even there.

-Composite or Porcelain Veneers. Composite or porcelain veneers (also sometimes called laminates) are super thin, custom made shells of tooth colored materials made to cover the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. These shells are adhesively bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length. Porcelain veneers are more stain resistant than composite resin veneers and better copy the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. Composite resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement. Veneers may also be recommended by your cosmetic dentist if you have gaps in your teeth or if you have severe tooth discoloration (i.e. from medications like tetracycline) that traditional whitening is not able to help.

Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic Dentist

-Dental Implants.  Dental implants are artificial tooth root replacements that are used to replace missing teeth. Often the result is not only an enhanced smile, but also an appearance that is more youthful, since missing teeth cause the face to collapse, and sag making you look older. A cosmetic dentist can blend the final restoration with the rest of your teeth.

-Porcelain CrownsPorcelain can be shaped by your cosmetic dentist to recreate the look of natural tooth enamel, while providing strength, resilience, and proper light reflection. Porcelain crowns are the perfect choice when trying to recreate the form and function of a damaged tooth. Porcelain crowns can be designed to create an even better aesthetic appearance than before. Also, porcelain crowns do not have the dark colored line at the gumline that PFM (porcelain fused to metal) crowns do. This allows for a far more aesthetic result to be achieved by your cosmetic dentist.

Cosmetic dentistry can offer many different options for people who are unhappy with their smile. But patients need to remember there is no perfect smile. Perception is the key. Each person has a different perception of what perfection is. So it’s important that you discover what you really like and then communicate that to your cosmetic dentist. Your dentist will be able to answer all the questions you have about the techniques that may be used to improve your smile. The condition of your teeth and your desired result often will indicate the best procedure for you.

There is a story behind every smile…What do you want yours to say?