How can we help you?
At Lusk Family Dentistry, we never underestimate the importance of patient education. Not only do we care about the health of our patients, but we know that good oral care is essential for a person’s overall health.
Some of our most common questions are answered below. If you have any other questions, or if you have questions about your specific treatment or oral health in general, please don’t hesitate to ask! We want to help you make informed decisions about the oral health of you and your family.
Composite tooth fillings can often yellow or brown over time due to foods and beverages you intake, or other variables. If you get your teeth professionally whitened, the composite filling will not brighten and may be more noticeable. If you have had professional teeth whitening, Dr. Lusk may replace your filling to match your updated shade.
If you notice that your filling is darkening, it will only darken more in time and become unsightly. Call us at Lusk Family Dentistry if you have noticed that your fillings are dark so we can go over your dental options.
At this point, many patients request a replacement filling. Dr. Lusk will check your filling to ensure it is not leaking or that the seal is intact. If the filling remains sealed, Dr. Lusk may file down the filling a little to remove the superficial stain.
Why Does the Filling Become Stained?
It's essential to bear in mind that tooth-colored fillings are made from resin that is porous and can, therefore, pick up stains. These stains are often on the surface and can be removed after filing the top layer. Frequent refilling can eventually weaken the tooth to the point that a dental crown may be necessary. Dr. Lusk may polish and buff the stained filling so that it blends naturally with your teeth.
You can maintain the color of your filling by practicing good oral health through brushing and flossing.
We are here to maintain the health and appeal of your teeth; dark tooth fillings can be polished or replaced depending on the recommendation of Dr. Lusk. Contact us at (505) 325-8401 in Farmington, NM to keep your teeth white and polished.
Sealants are a thin, protective coating that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth. Sealants help keep bits of food, bacteria and acid from settling on your teeth, thus helping to prevent cavities from forming.
How Are Sealants Placed?
Sealants are a quick and painless process. First, Dr. Lusk will clean and dry your tooth before placing an acidic gel on your teeth. This gel roughs up your tooth surface so a strong bond will form between your tooth and the sealant. After a few seconds, Dr. Lusk will rinse off the gel and dry your tooth once again before applying the sealant onto the grooves of your tooth. A special blue light is then placed over the tooth which hardens the sealant.
Children and adults alike can benefit from sealants, but the earlier you get them, the better. Your first molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can keep them cavity-free from the start, which helps save time and money in the long run.
Call our office to be seen for your cavity treatment and to have sealants placed to protect your smile.
When people hear that they have a cavity, they are often surprised because it doesn't hurt. The truth is that early cavities do not always cause pain.
What Is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay begins by entering the tooth at the outermost layer – the enamel. Since the enamel is the strongest, thickest layer of the tooth, and does not contain any nerve endings many patients will not feel any pain when the cavity is in this early phase. Once the decay penetrates the enamel, it continues to spread and pass through the other layers of the teeth. In most cases once the patient starts to have hot or cold sensitivity or pain, the decay has already spread much deeper.
You do not want to wait until you feel pain to have your cavity treated. Waiting too long can often cause for the need for more extensive and costly treatment such as a root canal, crown, or even an extraction. Read more about our Tooth Colored Fillings here.