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Tag: dental fillings

dental health myths
FAQ

What Are the Biggest Misconceptions about Dental Health?

Without a doubt, the biggest misconception the public has about dental health is that the effects of dental diseases are limited only to the teeth and gums. It can and does negatively impact the overall health of the body. Yet, as destructive as dental disease can be, most people, including many dentists and physicians, still believe that the damage it does is limited to the oral cavity. But the fact is that numerous scientific studies no longer support that long-held assumption.

Are Amalgam (Silver) Fillings Safe?

No, they are not safe because elemental mercury makes up 50% of an amalgam filling and it continuously releases mercury vapor – much more (as you will see) when it is stimulated by many common actions, such as tooth brushing, grinding and eating. Eighty percent of the mercury released enters the body and every atom of mercury that enters it is harmful.

Mercury is the most poisonous, naturally occurring, non-radioactive substance on our planet. The World Health Organization, WHO, says there is no safe level of mercury and has stated that amalgam fillings are the greatest single source of mercury exposure, surpassing fish and other sources of mercury. Three European countries, Norway, Denmark and Sweden have permanently banned amalgam fillings and they can no longer be used as a filling material.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a ceiling limit of 100mcg/Hg/m3 (micrograms/mercury/cubic meter of air) for facilities using elemental mercury. If the levels of mercury vapor in the building reach 100mcg/Hg/m3 the employees have to leave as it is considered toxic and unsafe for employees. (Just one microgram of mercury contains 3 trillion atoms of it.) Yet the simple act of brushing just one amalgam filling can release more than 250mcg/Hg/m3. This can never be considered a small amount and this is just from one tooth!

Bleeding gums is normal. It happens to everyone!

FACT: Bleeding gums is a sign of gum disease, which means there’s nothing normal about it. It only means that you haven’t visited your dentist for quite some time now and that a lot of calculus (hard deposits stuck on your teeth) have already accumulated, making your gums swell and bleed. Gum disease if left untreated may cause the loss of your teeth.

I brush properly, I don’t need to floss.

FACT: Wrong. Brushing cleans only 65% of your teeth. What about the other 35%? These are the surfaces in between your teeth which the toothbrush cannot reach (even if you use ultra-thin bristles). Only a dental floss can remove food debris stuck in those areas. Neglecting to floss (which you should do at least every night) may lead to cavities you won’t even notice because…yes, you guessed it right..they are formed in between your teeth and can be detected only by dental x-rays.

It’s just baby teeth..it will be replaced anyway. No need for my kid to see the dentist.

FACT: Baby teeth are as important as permanent teeth. A lot of parents are misinformed about this. Imagine your child experiencing severe toothache just because you haven’t brought him/her to the dentist before. Cavities on baby teeth should be filled and restored before they lead to a toothache or infection. They also play a big role in guiding the erupting permanent teeth to the right position. If a baby tooth is removed too early (might be due to severe decay), the space for the erupting permanent tooth is usually lost resulting in misalignment.

Dentist = Pain

FACT: So many people are afraid of the dental office. Dental phobia is a common reason why patients don’t go to their appointments. They always associate the dentist as to someone who inflicts pain…a lot of it. Well, this is not true. Most routine dental procedures such as scaling, polishing, and tooth fillings can be done without anesthesia. Though some might experience some sensitivity and discomfort, these procedures are often well-tolerated.

Well-aligned teeth have only an aesthetic value.

FACT: A beautiful smile can boost a person’s confidence at any stage in his/her life. But, having straight teeth also means an easier-to-maintain good oral hygiene which is a habit we all want to develop at an early age. When there’s crowding of the teeth, some surfaces (the overlapping parts) are not brushed properly, eventually leading to gum disease and/or tooth decay. In addition, correction of a bad bite produces an even distribution of biting forces on all the teeth, reducing the risk of trauma to the jaw joints as compared to someone whose teeth do not occlude properly or do not touch at all (open bite). Getting an orthodontic assessment from your dentist will determine if you have a malocclusion that needs correcting.

Dental scaling will abrade my teeth.

FACT: Everything done in excess is bad for you. Dental scaling and polishing if done at the right intervals will not do any damage to your teeth. This interval is usually 6 months apart unless otherwise recommended by your dental clinic. Patients who are prone to gum disease may need to see their dental health practitioner every 3-4 months.

It’s alright to wear my dentures 24/7.

FACT: Removing your dentures before going to bed at night is recommended. This lets your gums breathe from the constant pressure of the dentures. It also gives you the opportunity to care for your dentures by soaking them in a denture cleaning solution. Dentures if left unclean might become home to a lot of bacteria causing sores and irritation to the gums and palate.

Dental treatments cost a fortune.

FACT: The only reason you will have to spend so much on a dental treatment is that you didn’t take care of your teeth as much as you should have. As the old saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”. Neglect, or rather, the result of neglect is always costlier than the routine dental appointments that pop up on your calendar twice a year.

What do the Dentists Say?

We gathered some quotes from dentists practicing in BC to see what they think. You can see their comments below.

Dr. Komal Dhir

The biggest misconceptions in dentistry are: “There is only a problem if I have pain” and “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” There’s often no pain associated with oral cancer, endodontic problems (tooth pulp), and periodontal disease (gum disease). The other problem is that many patients are afraid to take X-rays. Often, the only way to diagnose a dental problem is with an X-ray.

Dr. Jasime Sethi

People take their teeth for granted. Good dental health doesn’t just happen. Many of us need to take simple steps on a regular basis — steps like brushing, flossing, and minimizing the frequency and volume of the sugars that we consume. Others have a harder time simply because of genetics, traumatic events, congenital problems, or systemic diseases. But whatever the personal situation, the simple fact remains that each individual needs to truly consider the importance of their teeth for appearance, for speech, and for eating. Without teeth, we truly are handicapped. Developing the right habits and following them regularly will help each individual maintain his teeth and oral health for a lifetime.

Dr. Robert Abercomby

The biggest misconception is that teeth do not affect your body and overall health. Digestion begins in the mouth with the chewing of food. Teeth and your oral cavity are a vital part of your health.

 

Without a doubt, the biggest misconception the public has about dental health is that the effects of dental diseases are limited only to the teeth and gums. It can and does negatively impact the overall health of the body. Yet, as destructive as dental disease can be, most people, including…

dental fillings burnaby
FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Composite Fillings

1. What are the advantages of composite fillings?

Most patients who choose composite fillings do so because of the cosmetic benefits. Your dentist can create a filling that is personalized to the shade of your teeth, so your fillings will blend seamlessly into your smile. Like all fillings, composites protect your teeth after decay is removed to prevent breakage of the remaining tooth structure. These fillings also help to prevent sensitivity that can occur after the decayed portion of the tooth is removed.

2. What are the disadvantages?

After receiving a composite, a patient may experience post-operative sensitivity. Also, the shade of the composite can change slightly if you drink tea, coffee or other staining foods. Dentist can put a clear plastic coating over the composite to prevent the color from changing if you are particularly concerned about tooth color.

3. Why should we choose composite fillings over metal fillings?

The most obvious answer is your appearance. All-white fillings will not compromise your gorgeous smile. Another benefit of composite fillings is that they require less removal of healthy, tooth structure, allowing for more conservative restorations.

4. How can I know if composite fillings are for me?

There are various factors to consider when choosing a material for your fillings. Patients with composites may also be more prone to post-treatment sensitivity. Composite fillings can be stained by coffee, tea, red wine, and other staining foods, and the fillings will not respond to teeth whitening treatments. However, your dentist can put a protective coating on your fillings to reduce staining if this is a concern.

5. What is the cost of composite fillings?

Prices vary, but composite fillings average about one-and-a-half to two times the price of a silver filling. Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of the composite up to the price of a silver filling, with the patient paying the difference.

6. What is the process of composite fillings?

Following preparation, the composite is placed in layers, using a light specialized to harden each layer. When the process is finished, the composite is shaped to fit the tooth. It is then polished the composite to prevent staining and early wear.

7. How long does it take to get a composite filling?

There are many factors that can determine just how long it will take to get a composite filling, including the size of a cavity or fracture, its location, and how many fillings you need. Patients should be prepared to sit in the dentist’s chair for up to one hour or more for a filling.

8. Can my old fillings be replaced by composite fillings?

Many people opt to remove metal fillings and replace them with composites for purely aesthetic reasons. If your old repair starts to crack or leak, you should definitely have the filling updated.

9. Can you eat after a composite filling?

Unlike amalgam fillings, composite fillings allow patients to eat right after getting the procedure. However, dentists do recommend that patients only resume eating after the local anesthetic wears off. It can be quite difficult to eat when your lips and mouth are numb! Plus, you do not want to run the risk of accidentally biting your lip, cheek, or tongue. While composite fillings are very strong, you should probably opt out of chewing anything too crunchy, hard, or sticky right after getting the procedure.

10. How to make your composite fillings last longer?

Many patients see their composite fillings lasting for about ten years. But if you take really great care of your fillings, they may be able to last you longer than that — and even a lifetime! In order to help your composite fillings last longer, you should always see your dentist twice a year for regular dental cleanings and exams, brush your teeth twice a day, floss every day, and eat a variety of healthy food to boost your oral health.

1. What are the advantages of composite fillings? Most patients who choose composite fillings do so because of the cosmetic benefits. Your dentist can create a filling that is personalized to the shade of your teeth, so your fillings will blend seamlessly into your smile. Like all fillings, composites protect your…

burnaby dental fillings
Family Dentistry

Composite Fillings

burnaby composite fillings

At Ridgeway Dental in Burnaby, BC, we do not advocate for the use of amalgam fillings. As such, our Burnaby Dental Clinic only uses composite fillings, which are a mixture of tooth-colored plastic and glass, to restore teeth. Since composite fillings are colored, our dentist in Burnaby can more easily match the color of the existing teeth. The aesthetics of this can be easily appreciated in the front teeth area. Composite fillings are very durable and can last many years, however, they are not permanent and will eventually need to be replaced.

How long do they last?

With more durable resin material available for only a decade, resins haven’t stood the test of time in teeth where grinding and chewing result in heavy wear; by contrast, the durability of amalgam fillings is well documented — the average life span of amalgams is 8 to 10 years, but many last 20 years or more.

Frequently Asked Questions About Composite Fillings

burnaby bc dental fillings

1. What are the advantages of composite fillings?

Most of our patients in Burnaby who choose composite fillings do so because of the cosmetic benefits. Our friendly dentists can create a filling that is personalized to the shade of your teeth, so your fillings will blend seamlessly into your smile. Like all fillings, composites protect your teeth after decay is removed to prevent breakage of the remaining tooth structure. These fillings also help to prevent sensitivity that can occur after the decayed portion of the tooth is removed.

2. What are the disadvantages?

After receiving a composite, a patient may experience post-operative sensitivity. Also, the shade of the composite can change slightly if you drink tea, coffee or other staining foods. As a remedy, our Dentist can put a clear plastic coating over the composite to prevent the color from changing if you are particularly concerned about tooth color.

3. Why should we choose composite fillings over metal fillings?

The most obvious answer is your appearance. All-white fillings will not compromise your gorgeous smile. Another benefit of composite fillings is that they require less removal of healthy, tooth structure, allowing for more conservative restorations.

4. How can I know if composite fillings are for me?

There are various factors to consider when choosing a material for your fillings. Patients with composites may also be more prone to post-treatment sensitivity. Composite fillings can be stained by coffee, tea, red wine, and other staining foods, and the fillings will not respond to teeth whitening treatments. However, our Burnaby Dentist can put a protective coating on your fillings to reduce staining if this is a concern.

5. What is the cost of composite fillings?

Prices vary, but composite fillings average about one-and-a-half to two times the price of a silver filling. Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of the composite up to the price of a silver filling, with the patient paying the difference.

Not sure if your insurance company will cover it? Give Bainbridge Dental in Burnaby a call and we’ll find out for you.

6. What is the process of composite fillings?

Following preparation, the composite is placed in layers, using a light specialized to harden each layer. When the process is finished, the composite is shaped to fit the tooth. It is then polished the composite to prevent staining and early wear.

7. How long does it take to get a composite filling?

There are many factors that can determine just how long it will take to get a composite filling, including the size of a cavity or fracture, its location, and how many fillings you need. Patients should be prepared to sit in the dentist’s chair for up to one hour or more for a filling.

8. Can my old fillings be replaced by composite fillings?

Many people opt to remove metal fillings and replace them with composites for purely aesthetic reasons. If your old repair starts to crack or leak, you should definitely have the filling updated.

9. Can you eat after a composite filling?

Unlike amalgam fillings, composite fillings allow patients to eat right after getting the procedure. However, our dentists do recommend that patients only resume eating after the local anesthetic wears off. It can be quite difficult to eat when your lips and mouth are numb! Plus, you do not want to run the risk of accidentally biting your lip, cheek, or tongue. While composite fillings are very strong, you should probably opt out of chewing anything too crunchy, hard, or sticky right after getting the procedure.

10. How to make your composite fillings last longer?

Many patients see their composite fillings lasting for about ten years. But if you take really great care of your fillings, they may be able to last you longer than that — and even a lifetime! In order to help your composite fillings last longer, you should always see your resident Burnaby dentist at Ridgeway Dental twice a year for regular dental cleanings and exams, brush your teeth twice a day, floss every day, and eat a variety of healthy food to boost your oral health.

At Ridgeway Dental in Burnaby, BC, we do not advocate for the use of amalgam fillings. As such, our Burnaby Dental Clinic only uses composite fillings, which are a mixture of tooth-colored plastic and glass, to restore teeth. Since composite fillings are colored, our dentist in Burnaby can more easily...