Dental fillings are an incredibly common type of dental restoration used to treat cavities and decay. And while fillings are strong and built to last for many years, sometimes things happen and they fall out. Here are a few tips on what to do if this happens to you.

Find the filling and keep it clean and safe

When your filling falls out, rinse it off with water and keep it in a resealable plastic bag. Bring it to your dentist’s office because it may be reusable if it’s not broken.

Carefully clean around the affected tooth

Gently rinse your mouth and brush the affected tooth to remove any food debris that may have become lodged in the exposed area. Stop brushing if you feel any pain, as this could be due to an exposed nerve.

Call your dentist

After you’ve cleaned your mouth, call your dentist to see if you can make an appointment for that day or the next day. At the appointment, your dental team will assess the affected area and look for any damage. Sometimes your dentist may recommend replacing the filling with another filling or, depending on what happened, they may suggest a dental crown. Dental crowns cap the entire tooth and provide even more protection than a filling.

Take care of any pain while you wait

Losing a filling isn’t always painful, but in some instances, it can be. This is especially true if a nerve is exposed. You can use over-the-counter pain relievers while you wait to see your dentist.

Avoid making it worse

While you wait to see your dentist, be careful to not put any extra pressure on the damaged tooth. Chew on the other side of your mouth and avoid hard, crunchy foods that require you to bite down too hard.

Know how to prevent it from happening again

Though sometimes losing a filling is unavoidable, there are ways to decrease the chances of it happening. Use caution with sticky, crunchy foods. If you know that you clench your jaw or grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist about wearing a mouthguard while you sleep. And of course, seeing your dentist regularly can help catch any loose fillings before they fall out.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Make an appointment with us today to learn more about fillings and other ways we can help restore your beautiful smile!

As a kid, a loose tooth meant a fun visit from the Tooth Fairy. But losing teeth as an adult isn’t nearly as exciting. Adults only have about 25 permanent teeth, making tooth loss a potentially serious ordeal. Here are a few major causes of tooth loss adults and tips on how to improve your oral health:

Your Daily oral Care Regimen May be Lacking 

Your dentist is your first line of defense against tooth loss, so make sure to keep your regular cleanings and check-ups. Your dentist will check your teeth for any problems — like cavities, oral cancer, and other diseases — and address any issue before it’s too late.

Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, and using an anti-plaque mouthwash can also help keep your teeth healthy and strong, as it eliminates harmful bacteria from lingering and weakening your enamel.

Teeth Grinding

Grinding your teeth at night can cause breakage, sensitivity and possibly even tooth loss. If you think you grind, gnash or clench your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about getting a mouthguard to wear while you sleep.

Smoking and Chewing Tobacco

Smoking and tobacco are two of the biggest risk factors for poor oral health, oral cancer, and tooth loss. One study found that smokers are twice as likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers. So, if you want to save your teeth (and your overall health), kick the tobacco habit!

Poor Nutrition

Your teeth need a number of essential vitamins and nutrients — like calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin C — to stay strong and healthy. If your diet lacks these nutrients, you’re at an increased risk of tooth decay, breakage, and tooth loss. Additionally, foods high in acidity and sugar are also shown to increase the plaque on your teeth, which leads to cavities and weaker teeth.

Autoimmune Diseases

Any disease that affects your immunity can also cause tooth loss because your body is working hard to fight off the inflammation from the disease, like diabetes, that other issues like gum disease can linger and worsen. Lingering tooth decay or gum disease can cause loss of enamel, gum infections, and tooth loss.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If worried about potential tooth loss, make an appointment with us today! We’d be more than happy to help you build healthy habits that keep your teeth strong and beautiful.

Good oral health is about so much more than just your teeth and gums. Your mouth is the entryway to your body and without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can grow and spread and cause issues throughout your entire body. Here are some surprising health problems caused by poor oral health.

Gum Disease

Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease is an infection that affects the gum tissues and bones surrounding your teeth. Typically the result of poor brushing and flossing habits, periodontal disease occurs after bacteria from untreated plaque have caused an infection. Because our body’s response to infection is inflammation, gum disease can put our body under a lot of stress from chronic inflammation.

Cardiovascular Disease

If the gums are inflamed due to the bacteria that cause periodontal disease, that same bacteria can actually get into your bloodstream. This bacteria can form plaque on your arteries that can harden and result in atherosclerosis, a very serious condition that can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. The bacteria can also cause endocarditis, a serious condition that occurs when the lining of the heart becomes infected.

Like nearly every other industry, dentistry has dramatically changed (and benefited from) the increased use of technology.  Digital dentistry, or the use of any dental technology or device that uses digital or computer-based components, has improved patient care in many ways. Not only have many new treatments been invented, but older treatments have also been streamlined or made safer, improving patient outcomes overall.

Understanding and keeping up with the innovative changes happening in dentistry can feel overwhelming. But being in the know can help keep patients feel informed about their diagnosis, treatment options, and overall oral health. Here are a few ways we use digital dentistry to improve your care:

Digital X-rays: Digital X-rays are a great improvement in dental radiography because they reduce exposure to radiation and are more comfortable for you. Capturing the images on a computer, digital X-ray images can also be magnified, which allows for improved diagnostic accuracy.

Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM): Dr. Fernandez has been using CAD/CAM technology in the office for almost 15 years to make crowns, bridges, and veneers. In fact, the use of this technology allows us to create crowns and bridges in one quick visit! Using a camera and a medical grade computer to take a digital picture of your prepared tooth, most of the work is then done while you wait in the chair. After creating a 3D virtual model of your tooth, a restoration piece is designed on screen and then sent electronically to the machine where it’s made onsite. The final step is bonding the crown or bridge to the surface of the damaged tooth to create a natural-looking restoration. The entire process generally takes 1½ - 2 hours.

Cone Beam CT Scan: We use technology to take a 3D image of a patient’s oral or maxillofacial anatomy to help us give an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. These scans are also used for implant procedures, which helps Dr. Fernandez precisely place the implant in the jawbone.

Intra-Oral Camera: An intra-oral camera is a great new tool in the digital dentistry world. This technology allows us to take several pictures of your teeth so that we can more clearly see tooth decay, gum disease, or tooth breakage. This technology also allows you to better see your teeth, which in turn helps you better understand the need for certain treatment options. This tool also helps us educate patients about the importance of oral hygiene. Win, win!

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you’re interested in learning more about the digital technology we use to make your dental experience as enjoyable and effective as possible, make an appointment with us today!

As the seasons change, it can be a great time to refresh your health, too. The coming of fall can be the perfect time to get into better habits for your oral hygiene. Here are a few tips to have your healthiest smile ever this season:

  • Replace your toothbrush: A lot of people use the changing of the seasons to do some housekeeping, like replacing heating unit filters, blankets, and gutters. But why stop at home maintenance? It’s also a great time to switch out your toothbrush! As a general rule of thumb, toothbrushes should be replaced every three to four months.
  • Eliminate a habit: A new season is a great time to reflect on your bad habits and make better choices. Whether it’s smoking, drinking too much soda, or eating too much candy, try using the new season to eliminate a habit that harms your teeth.
  • Start a new healthy habit: After you eliminate one bad habit, try replacing it with one good habit! This fall, try something you may not be familiar with to give your mouth a boost. Ideas include trying a charcoal-based toothbrush, wearing a mouthguard at night if you think you might grind your teeth, or dry brushing your teeth.

Orthodontic treatment with SureSmile® Aligners can improve your smile faster and easier than you ever thought possible. SureSmile® is a technology-based straightening system that combines aspects of traditional braces with modern technology to create a series of clear, custom-fit molds for your best smile ever.

Here’s how SureSmile® improves your smile:

It’s completely customized

The SureSmile® Aligners system uses 3-D technology to move your teeth more efficiently and directly into their proper position. Using custom-printed models and robotic laser trimming, your aligners will have an incredible fit and precise function for your personal needs.

Incredible precision and modern design

SureSmile® Aligners are created using a modern algorithm, a robust Cloud-based software platform, and an expert digital lab team to straighten your smile tooth-by-tooth. This precision not only results in total comfort, but also gives your dentist the power, control, and flexibility to ensure your treatment creates your dream smile.

Top-rated materials

SureSmile® Aligners are made with world-renowned Essix® plastic, which is known for its superior performance at straightening teeth and its virtually invisible aesthetic, making your treatment that much better for everyday life. And thanks to its effective design, these aligners produce amazing results in 30% less time than traditional braces do. 

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you’re interested in learning more about how SureSmile® Aligners can create your perfect smile, make an appointment with us today!

Everyone wants a bright, white smile, right? But most people also want coffee, tea, wine, and soda—all things that stain our teeth and make the dream of a healthy white smile seem out of reach. But achieving a pearly white smile is actually easier than most people think! Teeth whitening procedures are a simple way to make a big difference. Here are the top 3 benefits of opting for a whitening treatment.

Self-Esteem Boost

The most obvious benefit of teeth whitening is the impact it will have on your self-esteem! Feeling good about yourself is important and with a bright, white smile you won’t have to think twice about smiling big and showing your teeth. You’ll notice more confidence at work, speaking in front of a crowd, on a date, or even just walking down the street. In addition to boosting your confidence, a white smile is also known to offset the effects of aging. Win, win!

A dental filling is an extremely common dental procedure used to help to protect your teeth from further decay. Whether you have a cavity, enamel loss, or tooth breakage, fillings are artificial materials used to reinforce your teeth and keep them healthy. If you need a filling, your dentist will consider a number of factors when choosing which type is best for you. These factors may include cosmetic considerations (like where in your mouth the filling needs to go), the cost, and the extent of the needed repair.

There are several types of fillings available, including:

  • Composite Fillings – A composite resin filling is made from a mixture of fine plastic and glass particles. It is made to match the natural color of your tooth and is most often used on the front teeth or wherever it might be visible. This type of filling bonds directly to the tooth, which makes it very strong and durable.
  • Amalgam Fillings – Amalgam fillings are made from a mixture of metals including mercury and silver. These fillings don’t match your teeth and so are most commonly used for problems with your back molars. These filings are very strong and can last for ten years or longer.
  • Ceramic Fillings – Ceramic fillings are made of tooth-colored porcelain that has a very natural look. While they are resistant to staining, they can be more fragile than amalgam fillings and are a much more expensive option.

The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist at least once a year to get your teeth professionally cleaned, though many dental insurance policies actually cover two cleanings per year. While going at least once a year is the recommendation, some people do require more frequent visits. People who should go more often include those who tend to get cavities quickly, people who have already been diagnosed with gum disease, smokers, diabetics, and pregnant women.

Here are some other things to know about dental cleanings.

What it involves:

  • Tartar Removal. Even with regular flossing and brushing, tartar and plaque can accumulate on your teeth in hard-to-reach places. Because tartar hardens, it often can only be removed with ultrasonic treatments and fine hand tools during a professional cleaning.
  • Fluoride Treatments. Fluoride applications are used to strengthen the enamel of your teeth and may be applied during the cleaning.

You probably remember getting fluoride treatments as a kid. Or maybe you’re familiar with the fluoride rinses your children get. But are fluoride treatments suitable for adults? While not always necessary for adults, it’s actually a common misconception that fluoride only works for developing teeth in kids and professional opinion is generally in favor of adult fluoride treatment for many reasons. If you’re on the fence, here are some reasons it may be beneficial for you.

  • If you’re experiencing receding gums, fluoride treatments can slow down that process and protect your enamel from softening.
  • If you have crowns or bridges in your mouth, fluoride can protect restorative dental work that could be in jeopardy because of weakening teeth.
  • If you have sensitive teeth, fluoride can help. Many adults consume foods that are acidic or use at-home teeth-whitening products which can lead to increased sensitivity or sore gums. Fluoride can help reduce sensitivity by strengthening your enamel.

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" placed over a tooth to cover it and restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance. Crowns are common dental treatments and they come in a variety of materials and types. Read below to learn what the signs are that you might need one.

Signs You May Need a Dental Crown

A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:

  • A broken or decaying tooth: Dental crowns are usually applied to protect a weakened or decaying tooth from further damage.
  • Broken cusps. Cusps are the part of your teeth you use to tear and chew food. If a cusp breaks, dental crowns are common treatments.
  • Large fillings: Crowns are often used to cover and support a tooth with a large filling or a history of repeated fillings when there isn't a lot of natural tooth left.
  • Excessive wear: Sometimes patients have extremely weakened and worn-down teeth due to grinding, acid reflux, or a highly acidic diet. Adding a crown can restore teeth to their normal size and strength. Oftentimes, a patient will also be given a mouthguard to wear to further protect the crown and remaining teeth.
  • Undesirable appearance: A lot of patients are simply unhappy with the way their teeth look. Crowns can be used to change the shape or color of a tooth. They can also be used to reduce the appearance of gaps between teeth.
  • Root canal: Root canals are common treatments that hollow out the roots of a damaged tooth. However, because this procedure removes a lot of the original tooth, it can weaken what’s left. A crown can be added to restore some strength and function.