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sabkadentist

@sabkadentist

Joined in April 2020

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What are dental fillings made out of?

There are many types of fillings available for teeth like Amalgam, Metals, GIC, Composite, Ceramic etc. The best tooth fillings for you will depend on cost and your aesthetic preferences. There is a wide variety of materials used for filling cavities and they vary in strength and color. Our dentists at Sabkadentist prefer the composite filligs as they are durable and tooth colored. All these fillings have their own pros and cons.

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Fillings Crowns and Dentures

What are cavities?

Generally, cavities are empty spaces in solid objects. In regards to teeth, cavities are the result of decay, and are thus entirely unhealthy.

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Fillings Crowns and Dentures

How do you know if you really have cavities?

Cavities can be categorized in three stages.

  1. Affecting only the enamel. this is usually a small dark spec in the tooth that cannot be brushed away. Normally there is no pain involved. A small filling is normally sufficient. Do not use silver mercury fillings.
  2. The next stage, is a cavity into the dentin of the tooth. This is the second. This layer is much less resistant and can deteriorate more rapidly. At this stage pain is minimal but effected by things that are hot cold or sweet. An x-ray may be needed to determine the depth of the cavity. Normally a desensitizer may be put before restoring with a filling. Or a zinc oxide compound may be placed for about a week then removed and then filled. This will depend on the depth of the cavity.
  3. The last is a perforation of the final layer the Pulpa. This is the nerve center of your tooth. It also contains the blood vessels of the tooth. Once this area is effected the pain can be unbearable. The continuing progression of this situation will result in an infection of the tooth, destroying bone tissue. and causing unbearable pain. At this point you should see a dentist as soon as possible. The dentist may opt to give you medication for the pain as well as an antibiotic for a few days before rehabilitation. The reason for this is that the anesthetic does not work as well when a large infection is present. Draining of the infection is sometimes necessary to quicken the healing process and relieve the pain. This can be done in two ways. Where there is an abscess visible, puncturing the abscess and draining it. Or by doing what is call an access. The cavity is removed the root, or roots are located and filled with a medication to irradiate the infection from the inside of the tooth. The infection can be drained and treated from there.This is part of a root canal procedure. You will need to return to finish the procedure when the infection is minimized.

The other option, and we don't recommend it, is to extract it. This tooth can be used like an implant. But its better because it belongs to you. Save them when ever possible. We charge up to $1,400 dls. here in Mexico, for an implant. And it can take up to 6 months to install. Apposed to $435 for a root canal, post, and crown.

The location of the cavity is important as well. There is more tooth surface on the crown of the tooth. The layers are much thinner, on the sides and base of the tooth. These areas can become exposed when the gums recede. This can happen if you don't go for yearly cleanings, improper hygiene and or, improper brushing.

Preventative measures can be taken. A thin layer of resins such as the ones they use to do fillings, can be placed in the groves and valleys of your tooth to give them an extra layer of protection.

Avoid root canals. Teeth without roots are not living teeth any longer.

So I go to the dentist yesterday and find out I have a cavity. They showed me the x-ray which there was nothing there. So the dental hygienist said I can see it in the back. I was not so sure I saw anything. I have never had anything wrong with my teeth before and they are not hurting, so do I have the "cavity" filled? I think I am going to go to Walgreen's and get a dentist mirror and explorer. He showed me that the explorer stuck a little when he pushed really hard down. I am not convinced that the explorer sticking proves I have a cavity. That instrument could stick anywhere pushing that hard down. I do not want to pay for it and my last dentist told me that because I had not had a cavity up until now (age 25) that I was not likely to ever have one. To fill or not fill, to pay or not to pay, to suffer or not to suffer....that is the question. I guess its only $50 with my insurance, but I do not want a drill or filler in my tooth.

Follow up: So I went to my girlfriend and got a flashlight and asked her to look for my cavity. Sure enough there it was. I was a little shocked but with some effort I saw it too. A black hole in the very back tooth. So I decided to go back and get it filled, which I am glad I did. It cost me $58 with Blue Cross Blue Shield, but I live in Mississippi and that is probably on the low end compared to other states. I recommend you looking for your own cavities. It is really really obvious...there it was. Now it is white and smooth, and compared to my work day, the dentist meeting was actually not stressful at all. Expect a little numbing medicine and occasional drooling for a day.

I'm 25, and I've had one cavity in my life and had to have it filled...but I KNEW I had that cavity. All of a sudden I change dentists, and he says I have a cavity and I need to get it filled. I have no pain in the tooth, no discomfort, and don't see any "holes"...I don't even know which tooth supposedly has the cavity, although he said something about #18.

When you add to that the fact that my regularly scheduled cleaning was $99 when I made the appointment and then when I checked out they charged me $149, saying that his "prices went up", it makes me wonder:

Do I really have a cavity? Or are they trying to squeeze more money out of me? What can I do to be sure I'm not wasting money?

The only way you'll ever know is by waiting until it bothers you. Until then I'll never let another dentist drill another hole in my mouth. Despite brushing my teeth regularly when i was a child - i had many filling put in - those lovely dark mercury ones. Now I'm spending alot of time and money having them replaced b/c they are staining my teeth a bluish tinge. (The metal actually leeches into your teeth over time). My new dentist couldn't believe the state of the work i had done and said that if there had been another dentist watching over my previous dentist this kind of work would never have been done on my teeth. Great eh?! so i suggest - sure have your teeth cleaned but don't have unnecessary work done unless something is bothering YOU. And of course take good care of your teeth.

I am a dentist. An honest (and therefore poor) dentist.

The honest dentist (The proud, the few) only places fillings in the next three circumstances:

There is a visible hole in the enamel. There is a hole in the enamel that can be noted with a dental probe. In a bite-wing dental film, there is a black hole in the inter-proximal surface of the teeth.

I also will give you a piece of advice: Buy Jay W. Friedman's "Complete Guide to Dental Health". I do not agree 100% with this man's views, but this book is an excellent consumer-focused guide to the dark side on the dental business.

I've been in dentistry for 20 years. You can wait until you have pain so bad you want to rip your head off of your neck. Then you will need a root canal & crown to fix the tooth which costs thousands of dollars. Or you can have the tooth extracted & think your problems are all over. In reality, pulling a tooth is equal to cutting off a finger or toe; you can live without it but why would you choose to do so when you can save it??? Once you have that tooth pulled it's like a fence without all of its pickets; it starts to undermine the integrity of the whole system. So then you have to think about replacing the missing tooth and that also runs into thousands of dollars.

Or you can trust a trained dental professional who happened to get into dentistry to help people. Sure, there are some dentists who got into the profession for the money, but like other professions, an educated consumer (one who asks questions & takes part in their own health with the help of a professional)can tell an honest dentist from a greedy one.

Ask your teachers, postman, banker, mechanic--people you trust for referrals to a good dentist in your area. Check with the state dental board in your area for any complaints against the dentist you are "interviewing." But most of all if your dentist says "you have a small cavity," by all means, have that cavity filled before it becomes large.

Okay, I went to the dentist today and I think the guy was being shady. I am 26 years old, never had a single cavity, never had a thing wrong in my mouth, my mother is 55 and has never had a cavity., 30 year old brother also has perfect teeth. I take farily good care of my teeth and went in for a cleaning and routine checkup. So the guy does my X-rays, and he keeps them back in a little corner where I can't see them. He tells me that I have 5 cavities and 4 more developing!!! All are supposedly in between my teeth. So I crane my neck around and ask him to show me and he says I won't be able to see them with a naked eye. My dentists have always showed me my x-rays in the past--they're usually right in front of you. Then I find out it's going to cost me $100 a tooth!

A friend of mine had the same thing happen with this dentist. She had never had cavities before then went to him and he tells her she's got 6. I was a little suspect already.

How can I go from having perfect teeth for 26 years to 9 cavities? I don't believe it. I'm getting a second opinion.

A small hole in the tooth can actually heal itself using our saliva (from the calcium and phosphate it contains). It is similar to the way bones can heal themselves. Some people who have very good saliva don't even need to brush their teeth at all (about 1 in 100)and they still don't get cavities. If you have weak enamel, go to Sillyscarlet on eBay and look at the tooth gel. It contains the same minerals as our saliva in a more concentrated form. After a few days of using it you will find that your teeth look whiter and feel glossier. If they are glossy you know you don't have any pending cavities.

Re: teeth healing themselves.... your enamel (the outer coating of your teeth) cannot repair itself at all with or without saliva. Your saliva CAN remineralize your enamel but it can NEVER repair a cavity. The ONLY way a cavity can be "healed" is by going to your dentist and getting it filled before it gets too big and have to shell out even more $$$!!!

See Related LinksSee the Related Links for "Cavities (Tooth Decay)" to the bottom for the answer.
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What are some oral health problems?

The five major oral health problems are plaque, tartar, gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth decay

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