4 Steps to Take if Your Dental Filling Falls Out

Written by gpmadmin on . Posted in Dental Emergency, General & Preventive Dentistry, Overall Health, Restorative Dentistry

woman getting dental fillingOne of the most common restorative treatments your dentist in Rocky Mount uses is fillings. Whether they’re specially crafted for you out of an amalgam (metal) or composite material, we want them to stand the test of time. If your bite isn’t right, then there’s a good chance your filling or dental restoration could fail or even fall out. 

If you have a dental filling that’s fallen out, there’s no reason to panic. We’re going to walk you through what you need to do in just four easy steps. Take a deep breath and read on.

Step #1 – Remove and Replace

If your filling comes loose, you must get it out of your mouth ASAP. You don’t want to run the risk of swallowing it or choking on the material. It might not be a bad idea to keep your filling and bring it with you to your dental appointment. Your dentist will be able to determine if it can be cleaned and restored, or if you’ll need a whole new filling. 

Step #2 – Take Action

If your filling is loose and comes out, it’s also important that you see a dentist right away. But if you’re unable to get to the office, you can take some preventive tips to help preserve your smile health. An unfilled tooth is a welcoming environment for harmful bacteria to make a home and destroy your tooth. Be sure to brush gently and carefully. Rinse with water to make sure you’re removing any debris. (Pro Tip: Saltwater works wonders. One cup of warm water and just a teaspoon of salt will do the trick.)

Step #3 – Find Temporary Pain Relief

Your Rocky Mount dentist would recommend that you take over-the-counter pain medication to help with any sensitivity or discomfort. Be wary and cautious of any temporary dental cement, as it can be messy and make your issue worse.

Step #4 – Avoid Certain Foods

Until you have a chance to see the dentist, it’s probably a good idea to avoid certain foods and drinks that could affect your damaged tooth now that the filling is gone. Stay away from hard or sticky foods that could get stuck in your tooth. Be careful with extremely hot or cold foods and drinks too, as your tooth will probably be a little sensitive. Keep your diet simple and soft until you see us!

If you have a filling that’s come loose, the best/first thing you need to do is call our Rocky Mount dental office. The simple steps above are meant to be a temporary solution to your dental issues. One of the first steps we’ll need to take is a thorough diagnosis and state-of-the-art photos of your smile. We want to understand why your restoration or filling failed in the first place. We’ll take a look at your tooth, and if it hasn’t deteriorated, we should be able to replace your missing filling. We may need to do a little preparation of the tooth, before getting it filled for you again. Either way, we’ll make sure you’re comfortable and pleased with the results!

If you have questions about how fillings work or if there’s something we didn’t cover here today, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re always happy to be your dental partner and make sure your smile gets the very best, VIP treatment – no matter what your dental needs might be!

What You Should Know About Dental Implants

Written by gpmadmin on . Posted in Dental Implant, Restorative Dentistry

dental implantMillions of Americans will suffer tooth loss at some point in their lives. Many times, adult tooth loss can be caused by gum disease or decay that has been left untreated. But even those of us who take great care of our teeth can experience unexpected tooth loss through an injury. At our dental office in Rocky Mount, we know that nobody wants to go through life missing a tooth. And the truth is, nobody has to. Thanks to improvements in dental technology and skills, we have the ability to permanently replace teeth through the use of dental implants

Benefits of Dental Implants

Now, while dental implants aren’t the only tooth replacement option available to those missing a tooth or even several teeth, it is usually the preferred treatment method for your dentist in Rocky Mount. Unlike other tooth replacement procedures such as a dental bridge or removable denture, a dental implant is a permanent solution that functions very similarly to your natural tooth. It’s like you were never missing one in the first place! There are many benefits to a dental implant including: 

  • The freedom to eat what you want with no worry of slipping dentures. 
  • The ability to brush and floss as normal. No soaking necessary. 
  • A permanent, strong solution. 
  • A natural-looking smile. 

Why Should You Consider a Dental Implant?

Losing a tooth isn’t something that only affects your oral health. In fact, leaving a gap in your smile can have side effects on your overall health as well. Chewing food can become difficult or impossible, limiting your ability to fuel your body with proper nutrition. Other teeth may start to shift, causing overlapping or crooked teeth that can lead to jaw pain and a misaligned bite. Your jaw bone is also left without anything there to keep it strong. This can cause bone loss in the jaw and your face to take on a saggy, old appearance. However, replacing a tooth with a dental implant solves all of these issues. 

Since a dental implant replaces the entire tooth’s structure, including the roots, it’s a restoration that functions almost identically to a natural tooth. This allows you to eat what you want, keeps your jaw bone stimulated and strong, and keeps your smile full and straight. 

What’s Getting an Implant Like?

While the dental implant procedure can sound intimidating, scary, and painful, the truth is, many patients find the process very easy and experience minimal pain. The secret? Start by talking with your dentist in Rocky Mount to see if a dental implant is right for you. If it is, here’s what you can expect. 

  • Placing of the post. A titanium post is surgically implanted into the jaw bone. This is the structure that replaces your natural tooth root and keeps your jaw bone active.
  • Time to heal. It will take your body a little bit of time to fuse the bone and post together to form a strong foundation. In the meantime, your dentist will provide you with a temporary crown to cover up the post. 
  • Cap it off. After the post is healed completely, your dentist will custom-create a crown (or a cap) and permanently attach it to the post. This crown will be shaded to match other teeth so nobody will ever be able to tell it’s not your natural tooth. 

We believe that nobody should go through life with a missing tooth and invite anyone who may be considering a dental implant or other tooth-replacement option to schedule an appointment with us. We’re here to help all of our neighbors find the right solution for them. Call us today! 

Tooth Extraction or Root Canal: Which is Best for You?

Written by gpmadmin on . Posted in General & Preventive Dentistry, Oral Health, Restorative Dentistry

young man with a toothacheWhen you’re dealing with tooth pain or severe decay you may think that a tooth extraction is your only option. However, at our dental office in Rocky Mount, we want all of our patients to know that there may be another option available that can save your tooth.

The Truth About Root Canals

Root canals have a bad reputation of being scary and painful, but the truth is the treatment itself actually makes the pain go away. Your dentist in Rocky Mount may recommend a root canal if a tooth has deep decay or infection, or sometimes even when a dental restoration is too big. Oftentimes, a root canal can be used instead of extracting a tooth.

When an Extraction May Be the Answer

Even though saving your natural tooth is always the preferred treatment, doing so is not always possible. When decay compromises too much of the tooth or if there’s a severe dental injury to a tooth, an extraction may be more appropriate. However, advancements in dental technology provide you with many options to replace a tooth once it’s pulled. Some tooth replacement options include:

Once a tooth is pulled, replacing it with a dental restoration is highly recommended. If an extracted tooth isn’t replaced, other teeth may start to shift and not only affect the cosmetic appearance of your smile, but may also lead to bite problems and TMJ.

Signs of a Problem

Besides generalized tooth pain, there are several other signs that you may have severe decay or dental trauma that needs treatment. Some other symptoms include:

  • Surges of pain while eating or applying pressure
  • Long-lasting tooth sensitivity
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Gum swelling or pain

The best way to prevent an extraction or root canal treatment is to keep up with your dental checkups at least every six months. These visits allow the team at our Rocky Mount dental office to monitor your oral health and catch any problems before they turn into something serious. If it’s been longer than six months since you’ve seen a dentist, or if you’re suffering from tooth pain, we welcome you to call and schedule an appointment with us today. We’re here to help make the best recommendation for you to get you out of pain.