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Dentist providing woman with a dental filling

How a Dentist Determines Whether You Need a Crown or Filing

How does a dentist determine whether you need a filling or a crown? If you’re royalty, you need a crown! Joking aside, what’s the real deal?

Cavities Mean Fillings

Well, most cavities need fillings. If you have a tooth that has decay and/or a cavity, the dentist fills that space up with porcelain, composite resin or gold or silver amalgam. A good filling helps prevent bacteria from spreading while also restoring the tooth’s overall health. Now when might the dentist say you need a crown? This would be when your tooth’s structure has been impaired by decay, breakage or fracture. A crown is like a cap for the tooth! Made from porcelain, composite resin or other materials, dental crowns are made to look and feel like natural teeth so if and when you get a crown, people probably won’t even know it’s there! Generally, crowns are more expensive than fillings and last a longer time.

Variables at Play

Typically, dentists have several factors that go into whether or not they choose to give you a filling or crown. For starters, there’s the size of the cavity. If it’s “not too big,” then a filling makes sense. If the cavity has affected a significant part of the tooth, however, a crown might make more sense. Then there’s the tooth condition to take into account. Is it weak or strong? Is it in danger of cracking completely? Will it be prone to infection in the months to come? Is the tooth broken or cracked? When the problem is bigger than just a small cavity, then it makes sense to get a crown put on.

Root Canals

Have you ever had a root canal procedure done? When this happens, the core of the tooth is infected and that infection needs to be cleaned out by your dentist. The inside of the tooth can become hollow and weak, so the dentist usually chooses to put a crown on it to strengthen it and that way you won’t need to have the tooth extracted.

Brockport Dental can help you feel better if you have problems with your teeth. If you need fillings and/or crowns, Brockport Dental can take care of your needs. Please call 585-636-0555 to make an appointment.

Dentist puts mouth guard with fluoride gel in male patient's mouth

Don’t Forget About Fluoride Treatments When Making a Dental Appointment

You’ve probably heard of fluoride, and that it can help prevent tooth decay, but how much do you really know about it?

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is actually a mineral that’s found naturally in water sources. It gets released from rocks into soil, water and the air. As for it in water, almost all water contains some fluoride but not enough to prevent tooth decay. Many municipal water systems therefore choose to specifically add higher concentrations of fluoride to their water in order to improve overall public oral health. You’re also likely to find fluoride in oral care products you buy at the store– it’s often found in toothpastes and mouth rinses, for example.

Why is Fluoride Good For Your Oral Health?

What good is fluoride for your teeth? Well, it actually helps rebuild weakened tooth surfaces through a process called tooth remineralization. This process involves fluoride being absorbed into teeth, thereby restoring lost minerals that make teeth hard. The reason kids and adults utilize fluoride is because it helps strengthen teeth while preventing decay. One question that often gets asked is, “But is it safe?” Yes, fluoride use has been widely studied and no harmful effects have been found– for more info about the safety of fluoride, check here.

What are some reasons adults, in particular, might need fluoride? Well, as people age they often experience issues like dry mouth, gum recession, more and more fillings, crowns and bridges, as well as poor hygiene in general. Teeth aren’t as strong as they age, so fluoride helps strengthen them.

At a dentist’s office, fluoride can be applied using an in-office varnish. There are also at-home prescription pastes/rinses available.

Do you want to know more about fluoride? Visit Brockport Dental in Brockport, NY, and talk to the dentist or hygienist about it; Call 585-636-0555 to schedule your appointment or use the online scheduling page, here.

Brockport Dental is located at 1000 Transit Way #200, Brockport, NY, 14420.

Sugary soft drink that is bad for your teeth

Which Foods Do the Most Damage to Your Teeth?

Which foods or drinks do the most damage to your teeth? One ingredient, that’s in a lot of the foods we eat, is sugar, and it can definitely damage your teeth over time. Be careful about the amount of sugar you take in.

Candy

Do you love sugary sweets and candies? Most people do. However, there are certain foods such as caramels, hard candies and jelly beans that aren’t that good for your teeth. That’s because they stay in your mouth for a while, and that makes it harder for saliva to “wash away the sugar.” Besides those foods, there are cakes, cookies, pies and other desserts that can also lead to tooth decay. For those who love sugary foods, at least try to brush your teeth afterward.

Soft Drinks

What about soft drinks like Coke or Pepsi? These are not great for your teeth! They contain acid, which leads to things like dental erosion and cavities.

Surprise Foods

Here’s a food you might not have guessed: pickles! Pickles involve vinegar which has acid, and that acid wears away at tooth enamel. Besides pickles, there’s ketchup, which contains vinegar and high amounts of sugar– not the best for your teeth.

Do you like to drink wine? It can soften your enamel because it likely contains acid. And red wine, for example, has tannins which not only dry your mouth but also stain teeth. Yikes.

Citrus Foods

How about citrus fruits? Again, there’s the issue of acid, and in this case it’s citric acid which wears away at tooth enamel. Be careful with citrus/fruit juices, too, because they have acid and a lot of sugar.

If you do eat or drink things that are “bad for your teeth,” wait a couple minutes for your saliva to re-mineralize your enamel that the acid dissolved and then brush your teeth and/or rinse with water.

Do you need a dental check-up to deal with troublesome teeth? Schedule an appointment at Brockport Dental by calling 585-636-0555

3d rendering of a root canal procedure

Don’t Believe These Things About Root Canals

People often get scared at just the mere mention of the dreaded two words: root canal. Their first response is usually to freeze up their face into a painful look, followed by the words, “Please, no, anything but that!” But are root canals “that bad?” There are three common myths about them you should know…

Pain

First, the myth is that root canals are painful, as in “the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life.” That’s not true. Maybe you’ve seen fictionalized TV show/movie accounts of them, where they made it look bad, but the reality is that modern technology and today’s anesthetics make root canals a breeze. Seriously, it’s like getting a cavity filled, and you can handle that!

Prone to Disease

Next, some people believe the myth that root canals cause people to become ill or get certain diseases. A long time ago there was a research study that claimed that, but it wasn’t designed properly and has since been debunked. Try and find any valid and scientific evidence that root canal treatment is linked to disease anywhere in the body– you won’t find it.

“Easier” Options

Finally, there’s the myth, especially considered by older people, that pulling a tooth on your own is better than having a root canal treatment. The reality is that it’s better to save your natural teeth rather than yank one out. A natural tooth that gets “fixed” is better than having no tooth there at all. Furthermore, today’s treatment is highly successful with results often lasting a lifetime. Why pull a tooth when you can just have it fixed?

In Brockport, New York, you can find out if you need a root canal by visiting Brockport Dental. Located at 1000 Transit Way, #200, in Brockport, you can reach the office by calling 585-636-0555 to schedule an appointment.

Woman in dentist chair holding mouth from tooth pain

What Can Happen If You Ignore Tooth Pain?

Do you have tooth pain? Are you trying to ignore it, hoping it goes away on its own? What can happen if you ignore tooth pain?

Pain is the Body’s Way of Communicating Something is Wrong

Pain has a purpose. It tells you that something is wrong. In the case of tooth pain, it could mean you have a bacterial infection in your tooth. Once inside your tooth, that infection can spread to your bloodstream, which means it can spread all over your body. Tooth pain may be linked to more serious health issues that affect the heart, brain or other parts of your body. Furthermore, ignoring tooth pain could result in having an abscess in/around the tooth. This is excruciatingly painful. You might end up having to have the tooth extracted.

It’s Better to Be Proactive than Reactive

You don’t want to have to have a tooth extracted unless it’s totally necessary, right? Well tooth pain can also signify that you have a cavity. If left untreated, because you choose to ignore it, you might eventually need a dental crown, onlay or inlay to solve the problem of the ever-expanding cavity– and these options are costlier than simple fillings.

Be Worried About Gum Disease

And then there’s gum disease– another thing you don’t want. It’s not something that you get overnight. Instead, it develops over months or years. Tooth pain may be accompanied by painful, swollen, bleeding gums. You might have gum disease whereas bacteria has infiltrated your gum tissues. You want to have a dentist check you for that, and help you mitigate it.

Tempted though you may be to ignore tooth pain, it’s best to visit Brockport Dental for a professional checkup to see exactly what’s happening with your teeth and gums. Don’t wait until it’s too late– call Brockport Dental to schedule an appointment at 585-635-0555. It’s best to figure out what’s wrong when pain starts, rather than to wait a long time, trying to ignore the pain.

patient at the dentist getting dental fillings

Amalgam Versus Composite Fillings

Did you know there are two major types of dental fillings? When people have cavities, they can be filled using amalgam or composite. What are the differences between the two?

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings, also referred to as silver or metal fillings, are usually made from a variety of metals, such as silver, mercury, zinc or copper. They’re affordable and last a long time. They’re very durable. However, in recent years, they’ve gotten a bad rap because they often contain mercury. If you have amalgam fillings, every time you chew you release a small amount of mercury from your filling(s) into your body. People are worried about mercury poisoning, which is known to cause headaches, insomnia, tremors, nerve damage, kidney issues and respiratory failure. Mercury toxins can lead to long-term brain damage, too. It’s not unusual for people to visit a dentist to have them remove their amalgam fillings and replace them with composite fillings, simply because they want to get mercury out of their mouth!

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are the norm these days. They are tooth-colored fillings that blend in beautifully with a person’s natural teeth, such that you get them and you might not even remember where they are in your mouth because they blend so perfectly! Composite fillings are made from acrylic and ceramic. They may need replacing “down the line,” but, that said, at least you’re not putting mercury in your mouth.

If you think you have a cavity that needs filling, composite is the better choice for most people these days. You can talk about the pros and cons of both types with the dentist/staff at Brockport Dental. Please call 585-636-0555 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Brockport Dental is a family-oriented dental office located at 1000 Transit Way, #200, in Brockport, New York, serving clients of all ages, including kids and seniors. We offer gentle, high-quality, affordable care.

Woman biting nails and adversely affecting her teeth

Avoid These Bad Dental Habits

Okay, when you visit the dentist you know you’re going to be reminded to brush your teeth daily, right? And floss too? What are some bad dental habits that a dentist might tell you to avoid? Here are some…

  • Do you chew on ice? If so, stop that. It can damage your teeth. Chewing on ice can cause cracks and chips in tooth enamel– ouch!
  • Do you bite your nails? Did you know that biting your nails could conceivably break your teeth? You’re putting stress on certain teeth when you do so, and this can shift your teeth to different positions. It can also mess with your jaw position. Yikes.
  • Do you brush your teeth too hard? A lot of people do, and this causes the enamel to wear down. It also irritates your gums, such that they might recede or bleed.
  • Do you open packages with your teeth? Okay, you’re a beast! Good for you– NOT. This kind of activity can lead to chips, cracks, and jaw damage. Open packages using scissors.
  • Do you snack all day long and forget to brush? Think of all that sugar that’s sticking on your teeth, rotting them away! Ugh. Sugar is rough on teeth. At least try and rinse your mouth out with water after eating or drinking sugary snacks and drinks.
  • Do you smoke or chew tobacco? Expect stained teeth, tooth decay and possible gum/periodontal disease if you do..

Finally, do you play sports… without a mouthguard? All it takes is one bad hit and your teeth can be chipped, broken or lost. Wear a mouthguard.

No one likes to be told what to do, but it’s a dentist’s responsibility to help all people steer clear of unwanted dental problems. Do your best to make positive changes and avoid bad habits that could hurt your teeth, your mouth, etc.

Of course, the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy is to have routine dental visits. If you’re in the Brockport area, make an appointment with Brockport Dental today.

Woman in dentist’s chair grabbing jaw from pain from an abscessed tooth

What Should You Know About an Abscessed Tooth?

An abscessed tooth involves a pocket of pus forming in a part of the tooth as a result of a bacterial infection. The pain can be moderate to severe, and sometimes radiates to a person’s ear(s) or neck.

Pain

If you have a throbbing pain near a tooth or in your gums, and that pain came on suddenly and seems to be getting worse over time, you might have an abscessed tooth. What are some other signs of this kind of tooth problem? If you have pain radiating to your ear(s), jaw or neck, or pain that gets worse when you lie down, you might have an abscessed tooth. If you have facial redness/swelling, or swollen/red gums, those are other possible signs. When you chew or bite, if there’s pain, that’s yet another sign. And then there are plenty of others: tooth sensitivity, bad breath, a foul taste in your mouth, tender/swollen lymph nodes in your neck, and/or a fever… These are all red flags.

Should an abscess rupture on its own, you’ll feel relief immediately. You’ll also notice a bad taste in your mouth as the pus drains out.

Relief

If you suspect you have an abscessed tooth, or aren’t too sure “what’s going on,” see a dentist at Brockport Dental. Whether it has ruptured or not, get the area professionally checked and cleaned. You don’t want an infection to spread, so it’s important to have a dentist intervene– and you might even need to go to the emergency room if the tooth is associated with facial swelling, high fever, difficulty swallowing and a rapid heart rate.

For more info about abscessed teeth, contact Brockport Dental at 585-636-0555. Brockport Dental is located at 1000 Transit Way #200 in Brockport, New York. To schedule an appointment, see this page.

Periodontal Disease

Things to Know About Periodontal Disease

How healthy is your mouth? Do you experience bleeding gums? Do you have bad breath? If so, you might have periodontal disease. If you’re not familiar with the term periodontal, it basically means teeth, and, more specifically, periodontal disease involves the infection of the gums around teeth as well as the cementum that covers the root, as well as the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone. The beginning stages of periodontal disease is called “gingivitis,” which is an infection that’s only affecting the gums.

How Can You Get Periodontal Disease?

How does a person get periodontal disease? Basically, it’s caused by bacteria in dental plaque. Your body tries to get rid of this bacteria, so it releases a substance that inflames the gums and surrounding areas. When this happens, you’ll notice swollen gums that may bleed, especially if you brush them too hard or awkwardly floss.

Besides plaque build-up, other causes of periodontal disease can include hormonal changes in life (puberty, menopause, etc.), as well as illnesses like cancer or HIV, and taking certain medications which decreases saliva production and may lead to increased bacteria growth. Smoking is also a problem for the teeth and gums, as well as not properly brushing and flossing.

If you suspect gingivitis or periodontal disease, get a dental exam at Brockport Dental. The dentist will look for things like receding gums, formation of deep pockets between the teeth and gums, changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down, etc. Treatment plans are dependent on the stage of the disease; Early detection is important. There are certain toothpastes you can use to calm down the problem of gingivitis/periodontal disease.

Call Brockport Dental at 585-636-0555 to schedule your appointment today! Brockport Dental offers personalized dental care. We believe in preventative care and educating people about dental health. Best of all, we’re committed to safety, especially during these pandemic times. Don’t hesitate to call today.

Closeup of Dental X-Rays

The Importance of Dental X-Rays

The fictional but beloved comic book hero Superman might make a great dentist– after all, he has several powers including X-ray vision. If only humans had the power of X-ray vision, it would allow dentists to just look at a person and see details of what’s going on inside their mouths, seeing places and structures not normally visible to the naked eye.

Detection of Decay and Disease

Alas, humans don’t have X-ray vision capability– but they do have X-ray machines. And dental X-rays are important because they allow dentists to have more information that can benefit a patient. For instance, X-rays help detect decay or diseases that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

A Complete Picture

If a dentist wants to be able to see between and inside a patient’s teeth, he or she can utilize X-rays, which help give them a “whole picture” of what’s going on. Not only do X-rays show the condition of teeth, but also their roots, a person’s jaw placement, and their facial bone composition. X-rays can be used to find and treat issues before they become more serious or advanced.

A Snapshot of Changes

Specifically, X-rays can show abscesses, cysts, tumors, and decay, as well as bone loss and the position of teeth relative to things like implants. Dentists use bitewing, periapical and panoramic X-rays to “see” into and under teeth, etc. X-rays may be taken every couple months or years, depending on the patient and what the dentist thinks is best for him or her. It’s neat to be able to have X-rays taken over time, to see how one’s teeth were, how they currently are, and how they might be in the future.

A Special Offer From Brockport Dental

In Brockport, New York, you can get a free dental exam and X-ray service at Brockport Dental. Regularly valued at over $200, this freebie is to help introduce brand new patients to Brockport Dental (some restrictions apply). Take advantage of this offer, here.

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