How To Take Care of Your Dental Fillings

Making Fillings Last Longer

The different types of dental fillings – amalgam, composites, gold and porcelain inlays – are all viable filling options. They each, however, have their advantages and disadvantages. You can significantly increase the longevity of fillings if you understand the value of dental filling care and what it entails.

It is no different than caring for the rest of your teeth in order to prevent cavities and tooth decay. However, you can prevent re-infecting the tooth and thus prolonging the life of the affected tooth.

Here are some tips in caring for teeth whether they have fillings or not.

  • Brush at least twice daily and floss at least once. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristle toothbrush. Use gentle, circular motions when brushing especially in and around the dental filling. Flossing well will eliminate debris and buildup in between teeth, including those with filling.
  • Rinse with an alcohol-free, therapeutic mouthrinse to reduce oral bacteria in the mouth. Remember that bacteria can sometimes be reintroduced into filled cavities in as much as when food debris is left behind on intact teeth for bacteria to thrive on.
  • Limit your consumption of sugary, sticky snacks and choose healthier options. High sugar and starch-containing foods can stick around longer. They can be detrimental to filled cavities as well.
  • Instead of sodas and juices, opt for water instead. Remember that these beverages are acidic and, if they linger in your mouth, the acidity can weaken the enamel; even the enamel of teeth with dental filling.
  • Avoid biting down on hard foods and chewing ice. You can easily break a tooth, cause cracks or chips to appear on enamel and weakening them. More so if you have a cavity-filled tooth, the enamel may be further weakened in which bacteria can gain access.
  • Avoid foods that stain enamel, like coffee and tea, red wine and certain fruits. Wasah down with water when you do indulge in these food types. Tobacco products can also stain teeth. Some fillings can easily be stained and can look unsightly.
  • See a dentist at least twice a year for check-ups and cleanings.


Caring For Your Fillings in Downtown Seattle

When you have your fillings with us in downtown Seattle, you’ll get your best and most suitable option, plus doable care tips to make your fillings last for a longer time.

All About Dental Fillings: The Pros and Cons

Understanding Different Fillings

Why do dentists want to fill cavities before they get too large? That is because the remaining option is just too daunting – either a more invasive procedure be done to save the affected tooth – root canal treatment – or the tooth is lost to extraction.

We know that dental fillings are one of the pillars of restorative dentistry. Dental materials are used to restore a tooth, so that, when reconstructed, the affected tooth returns to its normal shape and form and is functional again. It can ward off bacterial entry and prevent further decay.

There are several types of filling materials in a dentist’s armamentarium. Dentists usually consider the size of the repair, the location of the tooth and the cost before recommending what they feel is the best material. Here are some of the choices frequently used, and why

Amalgam (silver) fillings are one of the oldest used materials, being a mix of various metals. Amalgam is strong, highly resistant to wear of heavy chewing forces, can last a long time, and is less expensive than others. Allergic reactions are rare, the material is very safe and poses no health risks. The only thing is, being darker than natural teeth color, amalgam is noticeable and so are better used on molars only.

Gold fillings are called “inlays,” and are laboratory-made. Gold is often considered the best filling material because it is strong and durable, and can last a significant amount of time. However, this is the most expensive option of all available materials, and is as noticeable also.

Porcelain fillings are also laboratory-made. They match the color of teeth closely and is more resistant to staining than composites. They also last a long time. However, the price of a porcelain filling is typically similar to the price of a gold inlay; they are also expensive.

Composite resins are an ideal choice for fillings in the front teeth as they can perfectly match the color of the tooth. They are quite popular in spite of them being less durable than amalgam, more expensive than amalgam, and that they stain easily. They are also not suited for large cavities. They may not last as long as others, but can last 10 years with good care.


Knowing What Suits You in Downtown Seattle

The best dental filling for you is the one that suits your unique requirements. When you have a cavity that needs a dental filling, drop by your Downtown Seattle clinic for a consultation and your best filling option.

Sleep Apnea: Types, Signs and Risks To Know

Understanding Sleep Apnea

What is sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by breathing with repeated stops and starts. It can can occur also if breathing becomes very shallow. The pauses in breathing during a sleep apnea episode can last from a few seconds to full minutes, and breaks of 30 or more times in an hour. The medical condition makes you stop breathing and, it can happen that you won’t even be aware that you have stopped breathing. It can be scary.

Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea are of three kinds: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome. The most common type of sleep apnea is the obstructive type, marked by loud snoring. It is characterized as breathing that stops and starts over and over again during sleep. The throat muscles relax intermittently while the person is asleep, blocking the airway. Some experts say that this type of sleep apnea is observed among those with narrower jaws; one reason being that these persons consume more processed foods.

Less common than the obstructive type of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea, which the American Sleep Apnea Association estimates to represent just 20% of all sleep apnea cases. This type occurs when the brain doesn’t send the right signals to the muscles that control breathing.

A mix of obstructive and central is the complex sleep apnea syndrome, known also as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, a recently discovered type of sleep apnea. Patients manifest first symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. However, the symptoms are not resolved by using the CPAP (continuous airway pressure) machine, but treatment will reveal an underlying central sleep apnea.

Signs and Symptoms

There are signs and symptoms common to both obstructive and central sleep apnea. They are daytime sleepiness, snoring, episodes of breathing cessation during sleep, waking up abruptly gasping for air, morning headaches, mood changes, and difficulty concentrating. There are also signs and symptoms unique to both.

For the obstructive type are high blood pressure, sweating and dry mouth, while unique to the central type are shortness of breath and chest pain. Risk factors are also involved in sleep apnea. For the obstructive type, are obesity, genes, enlarged adenoids, high blood pressure and diabetes. For the central type, risk factors are age, heart disorders and stroke, opioid use and living at high altitudes.


Recognizing Sleep Apnea: Ask Dr. Jaime Lee

If snoring bothers you, come over to Smile Art in downtown Seattle and know more about it. Let’s talk about types, symptoms and risks.They should not be ignored.