There’s something extremely disconcerting when you feel a filling come loose. While this isn’t necessarily a dental emergency, it can lead to some extra sensitivity on the exposed part of your tooth and make it easier for bacteria to get into hard-to-reach places.
What Causes Fillings to Fall Out?
There are a few simple things that can cause a filling to fall out.
The first is related to ongoing decay. It’s possible that decay could have worked its way in between the filling and your tooth, slowly eroding the structure around the filling. Eventually, the filling will not be as securely fitted as it once was.
Another likely cause for a lost filling is trauma of some kind. If your tooth is cracked or chipped, the filling may not fit as well anymore.
Finally, a filling may come out after a few years of constant clenching or grinding your teeth. (Although, technically this also falls into the “trauma” category.)
What Should You Do When It Falls Out?
If you haven’t accidentally swallowed the filling, take it out of your mouth. You don’t want to breath in those materials. You don’t need to save it for us, though, if it’s an old-fashioned gold filling we can understand you wanting to hang onto it yourself.
The very next step is to call us for an appointment.
Most of the time, this won’t be a dental emergency, and we’ll set up an appointment to take care of you as soon as possible.
However, if you are feeling pain or intense sensitivity, this definitely qualifies as an emergency and we will get you in for treatment immediately.
If you cannot make it into the office right away, there are some over-the-counter solutions that will cover exposed cavities. At this point, though, you should definitely avoid sticky and sugary foods. You can also use some over-the-counter pain medications (aspirin, Tylenol, etc.) to alleviate mild pain.
From this point on, though, be sure you are absolutely dedicated to great oral hygiene. This includes rinsing your mouth out with warm water after eating, and brushing after every meal.
What Will Happen at Your Appointment
Don’t wait to set up an appointment to get this fixed. We don’t want you going around with a gap in your teeth any longer than is absolutely necessary. We don’t want to give food particles a chance to get in there or bacteria to start setting up shop.
At your appointment, we’ll take an x-ray of the affected area and figure out the best procedure.
We may be able to simply restore the filling with newer materials and make sure it is secured in place. If you need a root canal, or if you lost the filling due to some kind of trauma, we may recommend a crown or cap to correct the situation.
If we determine that there just isn’t enough of the tooth structure left after the filling falls out, then we may even have to recommend an extraction.
Prevention is Always the Better Choice
Modern filling materials are designed to last. However, there are some things you can do to prevent accidental loss.
First, of course, is to maintain good oral care. This will help ensure that no bacteria can work its way between your filling and tooth.
Second, use mouth guards if you’re involved with any kind of sports or activities where you could potentially sustain some dental damage.
Finally, avoid chewing on hard candies and ice. That’s just asking for problems.
No Filling Lasts Forever
Every material used for filling cavities will eventually need to be replaced. They simply can’t last forever under the stresses we put them through.
As long as you’re coming in for your regular checkups, though, we can keep a close eye on them and make recommendations if we think it’s time for a replacement.
And, if you’re this proactive about these times of restorations and replacements, you won’t have to worry about ever feeling that disconcerting sensation of losing a filling.
It may have been more than 20 years since you’ve gotten dental work. You’ve gotten the work done such a long time ago that you may have forgotten that you have them. Suddenly, you experience sensitivity in one of your teeth. Tooth sensitivity or roughness is a likely indicator that your filling or crown has worn off and needs to be redone. Maybe you haven’t been to the dentist in a while and the dentist sees staining or tooth decay under a bridge or a crown or around a filling.
The indicators alerting that your old dental work may need to be redone are often noticeable. If your old dental work has failed or is failing, what should you do? The first thing you should do is to contact your dentist and make an appointment as soon as possible. He or she will be able to diagnose the problem and repair or replace the old dental work.
Fillings are often on the grinding surface of molars which experience much wear and tear as well as pressure. Over time fillings can become loose. The edges can chip providing ideal spaces for staining and possible plaque growth. Sometimes the whole filling will come out. When this occurs, the newly exposed tooth pulp and nerves will make the tooth sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
The repair of fillings is quick, simple and routine. The dentist will simply remove the remainder of the old filling, clean the tooth surface, make it rough and insert the new filling.
Crowns can be placed on any tooth. These are thin, tooth-like shells of porcelain or resin composite that is placed over a tooth that has had extensive cavity damage, yet is not damaged enough to be extracted.
Crowns are designed to fit snuggly over a tooth so that it looks and feels like a natural tooth. Over time, crowns can get loose over even fall off. Crowns that have gotten loose provide a great surface on which plaque, germs and tartar can thrive. The space between the crown and the tooth can lead to the formation of cavities if it goes a long time without being fixed.
Similar to repairing an old filling, the dentist will remove the old crown, clean the tooth and insert a new crown. The only difference is that the patient may need to wait for their crown to be made and return to the dentist to have the new crown inserted.
Dental offices that have an in-house dental lab may be able to get the patient fitted with a new crown that same day.
Bridges are a small string of attached crowns that replace multiple cavity damaged teeth. As with crowns, cavities can form on the tooth underneath the crown as the crown loosens over time. The anchor teeth (the ones on either side of the bridge) are of particular concern when there is sign of possible tooth decay underneath the crown. These teeth need to be strong to keep the bridge stable.
Typically, if one part of the bridge needs replacing, the entire bridge gets taken off and replaced with a new one.
Dental work won’t last forever and will fail, making replacement necessary. Failure to replace old dental work can result in pain and discomfort, not to mention an increased chance of developing cavities and gum disease. Fillings, crowns and bridges are the most commonly repaired dental work.
Whether your old dental work has failed because of wear and tear or whether they have been damaged from trauma, it is important to contact us at LeDowns Dentistry right away to schedule an appointment to have it repaired.
A year or so ago, a number of celebrities began popping up on Instagram, showing off some new teeth whitening products that they were supposedly using to maintain their famous smiles. This is an at-home, light-based whitening kit, and a lot of well-known people snapped pictures of themselves holding the glowing devices next to their bright white smiles.
Just looking at the pictures, you might want to believe that this small, white circular device was solely to thank for the state of their smile.
Of course, deep down, a lot of us will just assume that these are obviously pictures that feature someone who has been paid to pose with a teeth whitener. After all, give a Kardashian a blue light to shine on her teeth, and it will still get shared by tens of thousands of people.
It may look a little overly-posed and fake to some people, but who can blame these celebs for doing it? Who wouldn’t want to make some good sponsorship money for a single selfie and some relevant hashtags?
It’s one thing top see a celebrity showing off their white teeth, but since their career depends on their appearance, they’re probably already paying a lot of money for a professionally bright smile.
A lot of celebrities and semi-celebrities have shared Instagram posts that touted the effects of one teeth whitening solution or another, but it was when Kim Kardashian West shared a picture of herself with a new blue-light device that people really started talking.
So, with the potential popularity from this kind of endorsement, it has to be asked whether or not these light-based whitening kits actually work.
The kit works very similar to a lot of other systems. You’re given some whitening gel, which you use to line some dental trays, and then pop them into your mouth and turn on the LED light. The reason for the light is to help the gel solution, which is why you are only supposed to have it on for 10 minutes (unlike many other current systems which require at least 30 minutes on your teeth).
After all, we often use lights in our own dental services. So, there must be something in these lights that help to accelerate the process? Right?
Well, not necessarily.
In order for the light to actually work, there must be something in the gel that actually reacts to it. This is called a “photocatalyst.”
In-office treatments – which are much more powerful that what you can buy over the counter – have these photocatalysts. Many of these systems that are showing up all over Instagram may not have them.
So, when you’re looking for an at-home, light-accelerated solution, make sure the chemical agent has a photocatalyst, such as ferrous gluconate, zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide.
If they’re big seller is “peroxide,” then they’re just trying to sound smart. Because LED light will have no impact on how the peroxide works on your teeth.
Once you’ve got a gel that has ingredients that actually react under specific light, be sure the system uses LED blue lights rather than ultra-violet treatments. UV lights carry too much risk and can damage your gums and lips.
There have also been some instances of people testing out these kits and finding that it made their teeth incredibly sensitive. So much so that they said it hurt to drink water. So, if you have sensitive teeth, you might want to give this a miss.
Of course, the best option is to always check with us before beginning any kind of at-home whitening regimen. We can advise you on cosmetic dental procedures and the best products and help you get a lasting smile.
Whether it’s your first time taking your child to the dentist or it’s been many years since you last stepped foot in a dental office, it can be stressful. You likely have many questions about your dental health and that of your family.
What questions should you ask? Below are some of the more common questions patients ask their dentists and a brief answer to them.
Many times, knowing some information about dental care before you visit your dentist will help curb some of the stress, anxiety, fear and embarrassment you may have. This will help result in a more pleasant dental office experience.
- What do I do in a dental emergency?
Dental emergencies are when a tooth is knocked out, there is bleeding in the mouth, there is a tooth abscess or the patient experiences severe pain in the mouth, jaw, face or head. As emergencies can happen at any time, it is possible that the dentist office is closed. If it is open, go see your dentist immediately. If the office is closed, some dentists have emergency numbers patients can call. If the emergency requires immediate treatment and care, visit the closest hospital emergency room.
- What age do I bring my child in for the first time?
Children should be introduced to the dentist and the dental office by their first birthday. A brief exam may be done at this appointment. Children should have their first teeth cleaning at the age of two.
- What kind of toothpaste and mouthwash should I use?
Toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval and toothpaste with fluoride are the kinds of toothpastes dentists recommend to their patients. For mouthwash, also look for ones that have been approved by the ADA and which don’t contain alcohol.
- What if I have a fear of the dentist?
The fear of the dentist is common for both children and adults. Most dental offices offer mild sedation to relax and calm anxious patients and make their visits quick, efficient and as smooth as possible.
- Are x-rays safe?
X-rays used in dental offices today are safe for all patients. Some offices now have high-tech, 3 D imaging technology that substitutes or works in conjunction with x-rays. Even with the safe and proper use of x-ray machines, dental assistants and hygienists are highly trained in x-ray precautions.
- Why do my gums bleed?
Bleeding gums just after flossing for the first couple times is normal as your sensitive gum tissue reacts to the harsh floss. If your gums regularly bleed or are swollen and red, it may indicate the onslaught of gum disease and you should schedule an appointment with your dentist.
- Why are my teeth sensitive?
Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods and liquids can be a sign of a potentially major dental issue, though that is not always the case. Tooth sensitivity is the result of the breakdown of the tooth dentin, the hard, protective outer layer of the tooth. When this layer gets worn down either by improper brushing, cavities, or receding gums due to periodontitis, the tooth roots and/or pulp, which contains nerves get exposed. Tooth sensitivity can also indicate the need to replace a filling or crown.
- How often should I see the dentist?
At LeDowns Dentistry, we encourage our patients (both children and adults) to come in every six months for a dental cleaning and exam.
- What’s the best at-home dental care routine?
To best protect your mouth from plaque, tartar and germs, it is recommended that patients brush their teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. Flossing and using mouthwash at least once a day is also recommended. Replacing toothbrushes every 3 months, using fluoride toothpaste and alcohol-free mouthwash, eating a healthy, balanced diet, limiting snacks and sugar intake and avoiding tobacco are other habits patients can practice at home to ensure a healthy mouth.
- How do I prevent tooth decay and gingivitis?
The best, most effective way to give your mouth a fighting chance against tooth decay and gum disease is to practice a good at-home dental hygiene routine like the one listed above, combines with regular visits to the dentist and taking care of the health of the rest of your body.
Brush and rinse after meals, avoid excessive sugar and foods that are hard, crunchy and sticky. Floss daily, eat a nutritious diet and exercise.
Being armed with some oral health know-how can give you the confidence to make your dental experience less intimidating and scary. Being familiar with the answers of basic dental questions will provide more motivation to help you and your family make visiting the dentist every six months a part of your dental hygiene routine.
At LeDowns Dentistry, our dentists and staff are happy to answer any questions you may have concerning your dental health. We also strive to provide a welcoming and comfortable environment that puts patients at ease.
No matter what questions you may have, contact us today to schedule an appointment and we’d be glad to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.
We are grateful to be featured in the 5280 Mile High City annual list of Denver’s dentists for 2017. 2017 has been an amazing year. We opened a new office, and have continued to provide the same excellent service to our hundreds of patients. We love seeing people walk out of our offices with a smile on their faces.
Check out our profile on 5280 HERE
Check out the article HERE
You can find the the latest distribution of 5280 Mile High City on news stands today! Don’t forget to call us to schedule your appointment!
When it comes to kids, there’s nothing more important than starting to take care of their health early. Since the moment a child is born, we are constantly monitoring their health and providing them a comprehensive health plan that extends years into their future. Unfortunately, the same is often not true of a child’s oral health. Many people put off their children’s first dental visits until their adult teeth start to come in, which is actually a serious mistake. Just like it’s important to get an early start on taking care of your child’s overall health, it’s critically important to get an early start on early oral health practice, as well.
When to Start
So, when should you start worrying about your child’s oral health? Many people ask themselves this question because your child’s first teeth are temporary and will eventually be replaced by adult teeth. This often results in parents thinking that they don’t need to take too much care of their children’s baby teeth. You may be surprised to learn that what happens to your kids’ baby teeth often directly affects the health and integrity of their adult teeth, as well. As such, it’s incredibly important to start taking care of your kids’ oral health as soon as you start seeing the first tooth poke through their gums.
The Steps to Take
Taking care of your children’s teeth is very similar to taking care of their bodily health. You’ll want to start as early as possible with appointments and checkups. As soon as that first tooth breaks through the gums, set up a dental appointment. At these appointments, your dentist will be able to check up on the overall progress of your child’s teeth and identify any early structural or other problems with your child’s mouth. You’ll also receive a personalized oral care plan for your child that you and your child can follow together. As you start to follow this oral care plan, you also begin to encourage your child to follow good dental practices by creating oral hygiene habits and teaching them about the importance of dental care.
Set Up an Appointment Today
If you’re looking for a dentist in Denver to help lay the foundation for the future of your kids’ oral health, look no further than LeDowns Dentistry. Set up an appointment with our office today and we can start your children’s journey toward a positive and healthy relationship with their oral health.
Seeing a dentist early can help your child get used to the idea of going to see the dentist, instead of fearing it, like many children do. We can create positive interactions with your child to encourage long-lasting trust in dentists as a whole. In the end, this trust and foundation will lead to healthier teeth and gums for your child. This, in turn, leads to the prevention of more serious complications from happening, which saves you more time and money overall.
Cavities are, unfortunately, a very common problem. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, at least nine out of 10 American adults have cavities (filled or otherwise), and nearly a quarter of the adult population in this country have untreated tooth decay.
It’s safe to say that everyone knows that the answer to a cavity is a filling. They know this this involves drilling and the use of a metal or composite material. But maybe the reason why there are so many untreated cavities out there is because they don’t know exactly how we treat cavities.
So, let’s take a closer look.
Here’s the Procedure for Treating Cavities
As soon as we determine that prevention alone is not going to stop the advancing decay, we start to consider the restorative procedures.
First, we have to determine how far the cavity has progressed. As long as it hasn’t reached the pulp, you’re still a candidate for a filling. If it has reached the pulp, then we’re looking at a slightly more involved procedure (root canals).
Next, we will numb the area around the tooth to minimize any discomfort.
After that, we can start to clean away the decayed enamel with the appropriate tool. This is most commonly a high-speed rotary drill. However, we understand that this is one of the instruments that really put people off and keep them from getting the treatments they need, but there are other tools available these days, and they might be an option in your case.
We may also find it necessary to use a slower drill to remove some of the damaged dentin.
Once we’ve removed all of the decayed portion of the tooth, we can start making a hole in your tooth that has a specific shape to hold the filling material more securely. This will provide more durability and strength once you start chewing on that tooth again.
If the cavity is large enough, we may need to use a lining material, as well. This is to prevent tooth sensitivity and seal it against any leakage. It can also help the filling material adhere to the tooth better.
Since we use tooth-colored composite fillings, we will need to etch the interior of the prepared tooth to create an even more adhesive surface for the material.
Of course, all of this assumes that most of the tooth structure is still intact. If it has lost too much of its structure, then we go beyond fillings and consider using crowns to strengthen and reshape your teeth.
Different Methods for Different Cavities
Depending on the exact location of the cavity, we may approach it differently.
Surface cavities that occur on the flat exterior of the tooth, for example, are easier to treat and may not even require a filling. As long as they haven’t broken through to the dentin, special fluoride treatments may be all you need.
Cavities may also appear on the roots of your teeth, if they’ve been exposed because of receding gums. In this case, we need to act fast, because the root doesn’t have a protective enamel layer, so it will be much easier for the decay to reach the pulp.
The most common cavities, pit and fissure cavities, occur on the chewing surfaces of your teeth where it’s easy for food to get stuck and plaque to build up.
A Note on Fillings for Children
Baby teeth are not permanent, so many parents wonder if it’s really worth it to get fillings if they’re just going to lose the teeth anyway.
Aside from the pain this could cause the child, there are some important reasons to take care of cavities in children. The most important being that the primary teeth are meant to help the permanent teeth come in properly, so it’s really important that your child’s teeth survive until they can do their job.
Sometimes, dentists may recommend using metal fillings for children because it’s cheaper and, again, they’re just going to lose those teeth anyway.
At LêDowns Dentistry, though, we haven’t used metal fillings in more than 15 years, and don’t intend to start now. We do not believe in putting something that is potentially harmful in your child’s mouth.
Cavities in children is a very common problem, despite all the warnings. So don’t put this off just because they’ll going to lose those teeth.
Nothing Beats Prevention
The moral of this story is that the best way to deal with cavities is to prevent them in the first place. The second best is to treat them before they break through the enamel and reach the dentin ( this is the best chance to treat the problem without breaking out the drill).
Make sure you’re coming in for your regular treatments so we can catch them in time and treat the cavities before they become a real problem.
This is an exciting time for LeDown’s Dentistry! We recently celebrated the grand opening of our second location in Green Valley Ranch. The celebration was a fun day for all and featured free hot dogs, face painting and balloons for kids, and a visit from the local fire department who brought their Engine 29 fire truck.
The celebration culminated in a Lion Dance performed by the Colorado Asian Cultural Heritage Center Dragon Lion Dance Association.
The day was enjoyed by both young and old and the smiles of the children were priceless.
We feel both honored and excited about this opportunity to expand our dental services by serving the Green Valley community.
LeDown’s Dentistry has been providing quality dental care and services to the Denver community for many years with the use of the latest, cutting-edge dental technology, tools and equipment.
The latest dental equipment we use produces high-quality results that our patients love and deserve. The technology has also made for a faster, more pleasant and comfortable dental office visit for our patients as well.
We hope to remain a part of both the Denver and Green Valley communities for many more years.
If you’re in either Denver or Green Valley and looking for a quality, friendly, professional family dentist, look no further than LeDown’s.
Whether you want to restore your teeth to their pearly white glory or you need to get a root canal to save your teeth and the structure of your gums, or anything in between, you’ll find it here at LeDowns.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Have the years of coffee or tea drinking finally caught up to you?
Are you concerned about the image of the person with the yellow teeth smiling back at you in the mirror?
Your once pearly white smile you were once proud to show off is now concealed and hidden from the world. You no longer feel comfortable being in pictures and you’re careful when smiling and laughing in conversations with friends.
You want to reverse the discolored damage done to your smile that your diet preferences have caused.
Besides the obvious abandonment of foods and drinks (yes, your beloved coffee) that have been known to stain teeth, what are other methods of whitening teeth?
Types of Teeth Whitening
You’ve likely seen or heard about at-home teeth whitening. These kits are sold in most grocery stores. There are two common types: trays and strips.
With at-home teeth whitening trays,
At-home teeth whitening strips contain sticky, clear, thin, plastic strips that are placed onto the outside surface of your teeth. The sticky part of the strip contains a diluted bleaching agent that lifts stains out from weakened tooth enamel.
Both these at-home teeth whitening methods are inexpensive, convenient and can be done in the privacy of your own home.
The downside to these at-home teeth whitening methods is that the results are gradual, taking months to see noticeable improvements in the color of one’s teeth.
The whitening, bleaching agent can also irritate the gums, causing slight discomfort and both methods can be messy and frustrating to be done properly if you don’t follow directions.
An alternative to the at-home teeth whitening is professional teeth whitening done at the dentist office.
A professional teeth whitening can be done on as little as 30 minutes and patients can walk out the door with noticeably whiter smiles.
When you get your teeth whitened at the dental office, the dentist uses a more highly concentrated bleaching agent that is activated by UV lighting. The immediate whitening of the bleaching agent when exposed to the UV light means your teeth will be dramatically whiter within minutes.
The expertise of the dentist ensures that neither the whitening bleach or UV light will neither damage or irritate your gums and other tissues in the mouth.
While professional teeth whitening at the dental office produces immediate, significant results, it is more expensive and you’re required to make an appointment and go into the dental office.
If you’re not in a hurry or simply want to halt further yellowing of your teeth, you can heed the advice you’ve been hearing to stop eating and drinking foods and drinks that stain teeth.
You can also buy teeth whitening toothpaste and mouthwash to use twice a day.
A white smile can make you happier, healthier and more confident.
LeDowns Dentistry has been whitening smiles and changing lives in Denver area for years. Call us today and let our expert dentists help you regain your white, beautiful smile.
If you’re like most Americans, you have a hard time flossing on a regular basis. It’s been reported that only 30 percent of the American population flosses regularly. Why is it so hard for people to floss their teeth? For some, it’s just another inconvenient thing to do right before bed. For others, it’s because it hurts to floss.
While all of these seem like valid enough reasons not to floss, you might not be aware how dangerous it is for your oral health. Brushing your teeth doesn’t get rid of all the leftover food or plaque, especially in hard-to-reach places. If you aren’t able to clean that away, your teeth have a much higher likelihood of suffering from tooth decay. Flossing can change that.
The Benefits of Flossing
Flossing helps you reach those tucked away corners and crevices in your mouth and in between your teeth where food and bacteria like to lurk. Brushing can’t touch these places, and taking the extra effort to floss can significantly increase your oral health and hygiene.
This is the most common benefit to flossing, but there is one more that you need to consider. Your gums also benefit from this oral hygiene practice and it can help prevent the occurrence of dangerous gum disease. If left alone long enough, gum disease can lead to a complete loss of your teeth.
How to Properly Floss
A good flossing habit is made up of several different factors. First, you need to start the habit and stick to it. You can’t expect to see the benefits from flossing if you don’t do it in the first place. Second, you need to choose the right floss for the job. You might think that all floss was created equal, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are tons of different types of floss out there and you’ll need to choose one that fits your teeth. If you need help choosing the right kind of floss, ask your dentist for a recommendation. Finally, you need to know how to properly floss.
In order to floss in the right way, follow these simple steps:
- Use a piece of floss between 15 and 18 inches long.
- Slide the floss inbetween your teeth.
- Wrap it around each one of your teeth, using a “C” shape.
- Polish the tooth with an up and down motion.
If you haven’t flossed in a while, you might experience some light bleeding. This is normal, and it shouldn’t be something to worry about. However, if the bleeding doesn’t stop after a few flossing sessions, you should ask your dentist if it’s something that needs to be looked at.
Ask Your Dentist
If you just can’t seem to get the hang of this whole flossing thing, don’t hesitate to ask for tips and tricks during your next dental appointment. We can show you exactly how you should be flossing and give you recommendations for the best kind of floss that provides real results.