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Posts Tagged: fillings

Treatment Options For A Fractured Tooth Filling

What will you do if your filling falls out or cracks? A fractured tooth filling may even happen to you while you are eating — you could suddenly realize that there is a foreign object in your mouth.

Your first step is to call your dentist. They will be able to determine the right treatment to utilize at the dental office.

What to Expect During a Dental Consultation

Do not panic if your filling falls out. A seasoned Prescott, AZ dentistwould typically have an emergency time set aside for patients with lost or fractured fillings and other dental problems, so it is highly likely that you will be attended to on the day you call. And if you need care during the weekend, the dental office may have a contact to call to take care of emergency cases.

Once you are at the dental office, your dentist will examine your tooth. An X-ray may be necessary to determine the best treatment. If your teeth need another filling, you will be provided with information regarding your options for filling materials. There are also times when the affected tooth might need a crown or a root canal to restore the tooth’s integrity. Tooth extraction may also be advised on rare occasions.

Filling Options

If your tooth is restorable, the tooth’s location will determine the type of restoration. For a front tooth (canine or incisor), a composite and glass ionomer filling is the best aesthetic choice. For a premolar or molar, you can choose between a glass ionomer material and an amalgam filling. Since the back teeth experience the strongest chewing forces, the amalgam filling is considered the best material; this will last longer. Some dentists place tooth-colored restorations, depending on their patient’s preference.

Other Treatment Options

A crown can be the best option when there is an extensive loss of tooth. Your dentist can place a sedative filling or a temporary crown to protect the affected tooth. The permanent crown impression and placement will then happen at subsequent dental visits.

But when your filling falls out and a deep cavity is revealed or the nerve of the tooth is exposed, the best option is a root canal followed by placement of a dental crown.

If the loss of a filling or fractured tooth is severe, tooth extraction is your only option. When this happens, your dentist will provide you with a treatment plan to replace the tooth. You can choose between a dental implant and a removable or fixed bridge.

Prevention Tips

To detect a possible problem with your dental fillings, regular dental care is crucial. Your dentist can detect uneven wear or open margins before they become a problem. Your dentist can also give you tips for proper oral hygiene to prevent plaque buildup, which is the leading cause of tooth decay.

Bear in mind that fillings or restorations have a breaking point. Eventually, they will need replacement. Regular visits will determine if it is time to replace a restoration. But a filling might fall out unexpectedly, and you might experience discomfort and pain. When it happens, contact your dentist right away. If left untreated, a fractured or lost filling can lead to a root canal and possible tooth loss.

Dental Health Facts and Fiction

People can become so concerned with their teeth that they tend to believe any information they receive about ways to care for them, which may not always be true or advisable. As a result, they observe dental routines that could be causing more damage to their teeth instead of helping them maintain strong and healthy set of chompers.

Keeping this in mind, it is important to learn about and adopt clinically proven and effective dental habits that you should practice to keep your teeth healthy — and to determine whether a piece of information about dental health is a fact or fiction.

Some examples of dental health facts and fiction include the following:

STATEMENT: Your teeth should be looked at and cleaned by a dentist once a year

VERDICT: Fiction

The frequency of your visits to the dental clinic relies entirely on your dentist and not any self-established schedule. Each person’s dental condition is different from the next one’s, so the recommendations for dental check-ups would depend on the patient’s specific dental needs.

Some individuals with relatively healthy teeth may only need to see their dentist every few months, for example, while others with more delicate or serious dental issues may be advised to head to the dental clinic to undergo treatments or procedures once a month.

Since people consume different kinds of food and drinks, follow different oral hygiene practices, and have varying health conditions that could affect the state of their teeth, mouth and gums, required dental procedures also vary from patient to patient.

STATEMENT: Popcorn is a snack that is good for your teeth

VERDICT: Fiction

Popcorn doesn’t always look the way it does when you buy it at the cinema. Its uncooked form is a hard, tough corn kernel. However, cooking doesn’t always turn every single kernel into soft, tasty and fluffy popcorn, and when your teeth accidentally bite hard on those un-popped kernels, precious white enamel on your teeth might end up chipped or cracked.

And because popcorn is often flavored with butter and powdered artificial cheese and butter, popcorn is not exactly the best choice of food to keep your teeth healthy.

STATEMENT: Sugar is the cause of cavities


It is true that sugary food or drinks cause cavities in teeth. Keep in mind, though, that they are also not the only reasons why people suffer from tartar build-up. There are other harmful chemicals and foreign contaminants that can cause plaque, such as nicotine and alcohol. Meat is also a culprit when it comes to cavity build-up; however, it does not directly affect the surface of your teeth. Instead, meat leftovers get stuck between teeth, allowing bacteria to gather and attack the enamel of your teeth.

In order to get helpful tips for improving the health of your teeth, you can consult dental experts such as a Prescott, AZ dentist in a fully equipped dental clinic near you.

Overbite Correction Options

Model of human jaw with wire braces attachedA person’s teeth are often the first things that will be noticed as he or she interacts with other people. It’s a prominent facial feature that most people try hard to maintain and protect.

However, not everyone is born with perfect teeth. Sometimes the teeth in the upper jaw (maxillary) protrude and overlap the teeth in the lower jaw (mandible), creating an unpleasant overbite appearance.

In cases like these, people seek out the available options for overbite correction by asking experts such as a Prescott, AZ dentist to help them with their dental problem. Contrary to what some believe, an overbite can still be treated using a wide range of dental correction techniques, including the following:


Much like traditional retainers, Invisalign is a type of dental correction tool that reconfigures one’s teeth. Although it is often confused with a retainer, Invisalign is significantly different from its more old-fashioned counterpart.

As its name suggests, Invisalign is hard to detect when worn. Unless one carefully and critically observes the wearer’s teeth, it is nearly invisible to the naked eye. It’s clear and translucent material is what does the trick. As much as it is aesthetic, Invisalign has also been clinically proven to be effective not just in treating overbites but other dental misalignments as well.


One of the oldest teeth realignment techniques is dental braces installation. It involves attaching metal brackets to the teeth, guiding each tooth to their appropriate positions. Sometimes, the need for screws, headgear, and rubber bands arises, which can make it a less appealing option for overbite correction. It is, however, one of the most affordable and effective choices available.

Surgery or realignment of the jaw

When one’s overbite is too severe to fix with Invisalign and other non-invasive methods, it is time to consider more serious solutions. Surgery is often the last resort for those who suffer from an overbite; it is a medical procedure wherein a person’s jaw is realigned. In some cases, the lower jaw is too large to be in the same position as the maxillary, which creates the possibility of restructuring it to the right proportions.

Aside from the abovementioned options, there are many other overbite correction alternatives available on the market today. Thanks to modern technology, dental experts can now use advanced dental correction procedures to help patients achieve dental perfection without having to experience pain and discomfort.

Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!

More About Horizon Dental Group

dentist-pvMore About Horizon Dental Group

A dental practice is defined by more than just the dentists at its helm. Your experience definitely transcends beyond your stay at the dental chair, so let us tell you more about Horizon Dental Group and what we do to provide a truly exemplary service — not only to our patients, but to the community we belong to as well.

Full Service Facility

To begin with, we are a full service oral health care facility with several offices in the Yavapai County. We particularly serve the Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Dewey, and Humboldt area in Arizona. Specifically, our offices are located in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, and Spring Valley.

If you are still in the process of looking for a Prescott, AZ dentist, come to our family dental practice, where we help everyone of all ages with anything from the simplest of treatments to the more complicated dental procedures.

What We Practice

We practice general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, sedation dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry, treating basic issues like decayed teeth and gum disease as well as providing more complex dental solutions such as porcelain veneers, dental implants, dentures, teeth whitening, dental crowns, and root canals.

Our hygiene department is staffed with the most capable hygienists, highly trained to treat troubling periodontal issues and help patients maintain their oral health. Our offices use state of the art equipment, the highest quality dental materials, as well as a progressive approach in inter-disciplinary cases where more advanced and debilitating problems extend requirements to other areas of medical care.

Patient Care

We truly care about our patients and promote a conservative and preventive approach to your oral health care. We understand that it is inconvenient, often painful, and quite financially straining, so we are happy to provide you with the right information and team up with you in keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

There’s also more about Horizon Dental Group that we know you can appreciate. Besides our passion for our obvious, simple, and unifying mission, which is to provide excellent dental care to our patients, we are also driven by our earnest commitment to make as much of a positive impact as we can to our community.

By providing charitable dentistry services as well as participating in various pledges and supporting the many community efforts to make this portion of Arizona we call home so much better, Horizon Dental Group’s entire team is able to manifest our dedication to help and serve.

Tooth-Colored Fillings | What You Need To Know

Why Are Tooth-Colored Fillings the Better Option for Cavities?


When you have teeth that are damaged by decay, one of the solutions that your dentist can provide is a filling. First, the decayed tooth material will be removed, and then the affected area is cleaned. Afterwards, a filling can be placed on the cleaned out cavity in order to close off all spaces where bacteria can enter and stimulate further decay.


Dental fillings can be made of different materials. Some people will choose fillings made of porcelain or gold. Others prefer tooth-colored fillings, also called composite resin. An amalgam can also be used — it’s an alloy of silver, copper, mercury, tin, and zinc (in some cases).


A better choice

Many dentists recommend tooth-colored restorations over the more controversial silver fillings for a number of reasons, including:


  • Tooth-colored restorations, porcelain inlays/onlays or composite resin are bonded to the affected tooth. This means that there is a tight, secure fit to the natural tooth, helping it become stronger and more intact.
  • The resin cement used in tooth-colored fillings can contain fluoride, which can help prevent further tooth decay.
  • Tooth-colored restorations do not require placement below the gum line, so you get fillings that wear like natural teeth and promote gum health.
  • These are mercury-free fillings, so none of the health risks associated with silver fillings and dental amalgam are cause for concern.


Silver fillings, on the other hand, come with considerable disadvantages such as:


  • Their edges can break, wear down, or become weak, which results in reduced protection for the tooth and a risk of causing new cavities to develop.
  • Over time, the metal in silver fillings can expand, contract, and eventually cause the tooth to split.
  • Silver fillings contain 50% mercury, and when they corrode or leak, your teeth and gums can become stained.
  • Dental amalgam emits mercury even after being implanted into the body, which endangers human health. In pregnant women, the mercury can penetrate the placenta and accumulate in the fetus. Children, fetuses, nursing infants and individuals with compromised kidney function are more prone to health risks caused by mercury.
  • When amalgam is used as a cavity filling, a substantial amount of healthy tooth matter must be removed. The drawback is that the overall tooth structure becomes damaged and weak, so more dental work will need to be done in the future.
  • Dental devices that come with mercury add to the pollution in the environment. The mercury finds its way into the water waste in dental clinics, which can then end up in water systems and the ocean.


If you have silver or amalgam fillings, they can be effectively replaced with tooth-colored fillings in just one sitting (with the help of technology called computer aided design and computer assisted milling or CADCAM) or in two appointments (using chairside oral scanning or COS). Your dentist can help your teeth become stronger, with a more natural look and feel.  

Which Filling Should You Get?


What Kind of Filling Should You Get?

When you experience tooth decay, one of the solutions that your trusted dentist will recommend is to give you a filling. This will help restore the normal shape and function of the affected tooth. Basically, the dentist will remove the decayed material, clean the area, and then fill the space with a filling material. Doing this ensures that the tooth will no longer go through further decay since bacteria will have no way of entering the tooth.

If you decide to get a filling, your dentist can explain the different kinds that you can consider:

Gold fillings. These are considerably the most expensive type of filling material, and getting them can require multiple visits (they will need to be created in a laboratory and cemented into the patient’s mouth). But because they are long lasting (they can last more than 20 years) and they are tolerated well by human gum tissues, gold fillings are typically the top recommendation by dental specialists.

Porcelain fillings. These are also called inlays or onlays and are quite similar to gold fillings in terms of price. Created to order in a lab and bonded over the affected tooth, porcelain fillings can be made to match the tooth’s color and they resist staining, so they look good.

Silver fillings. Also called amalgam fillings, these are a more inexpensive option that are built to last. What patients must keep in mind, though, is that their dark color makes them highly visible, so they would normally be used further inside the mouth rather than in more prominent areas.

Composite resin fillings (plastic). These are made by mixing the required ingredients and placing them directly onto the cavity so they can harden. They can match the color of the original teeth for a natural appearance. However, these fillings are not as resistant to stains from tea, coffee or tobacco as the other kinds, they can suffer from wear and tear over time, and they only last about three to 10 years.

Which fillings should you get?

Some patients, after getting one type of filling, may be wondering if they can switch to another type. If you’re thinking, for example, “Do I need to replace my silver fillings?” the answer would depend on the reason that your dentist may think you need the replacements. These could be:

The existing fillings may be defective. If you have metal fillings, there’s often no need to be concerned about damage or exposure to mercury since they are highly durable and are safe for use according to the American Dental Association. But if there are signs of damage, replacing them would be the right thing to do.

Decay may have started to set in. A broken filling may cause tooth to begin decaying and to become prone to infections, so getting a new filling is essential.

Cosmetic reasons. Your silver fillings may be highly visible to other people, and if this is the case, you can talk to your dentist about getting composite fillings for a more natural look — but only if your dental health will not be compromised.