A filling is needed when bacteria in your mouth has caused a decay in your tooth. The decay is then removed and a filling is placed. However, a filling is only beneficial if it continues to protect the tooth. Over time some fillings may begin to have gaps in between and bacteria can easily get between the filling and the tooth and cause decay to occur underneath a ‘leaky’ filling.

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The picture above shows an example of a ‘leaky’ mercury filling where bacteria can get between the filling and the tooth. When the filling was removed tooth decay can be seen underneath the old filling

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As in most dental diseases there usually is no sign that there is decay underneath a filling. Most people do not feel any sensation of having tooth decay. The first sensation only occurs when the decay has reached the nerve of the tooth. At that point pain sets in and at times can be very severe. The tooth then would either have to be removed or need a root canal treatment.

Filling materials of today can look extremely natural. Composites or porcelain can be used to fabricate undetectable fillings which lasts a long time. These materials are also kinder to the tooth and do not place heavy stresses on the tooth structure.

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At Coast Dental we don’t simply ‘fill’ your teeth we restore it back to its natural strength and beauty. For this reason we prefer to use the word Restorations rather than Fillings.

Do get your existing fillings checked regularly and have them changed to beautiful restorations if needed to ensure that your teeth are well protected!

Your smile often says a lot about your personality. In today’s highly competitive world there is no saying how important a first impression can be. Whether you want to make a good first impression to ace your job interview, impress your clients or to turn that first date into a second date with that special someone….. a great smile will go a long way. A beautiful set of pearly whites can never replace strong values such as honesty, hardwork and humility but it sure can give you an added advantage.

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In his TED talk, Ron Gutman speaks about the power of smiling and shares research conducted on smiling. The research found the following benefits to smiling

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  • People who smiled more frequently were more successful in marriage, had more successful careers and earned more money
  • People with beaming smiles lived longer
  • Smiling stimulates the brain to produce chemicals which make us feel better. A study showed that a smile produces the same effect as eating 2000 bars of chocolate!!!
  • Smiling helps to reduce stress enhancing hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine and increases the level of endorphins and has a overall effect of reducing blood pressure.
  • When you smile you appear to be more likeable, look better and more competent.

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But if you feel conscious about your smile then your smile may be reflecting qualities opposite to your true self.

Cosmetic dentistry can enhance and rejuvenate your smile. There are many types treatments available for cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry can range from simple treatments that can be completed within 1-2 sessions as well as treatments that can take about 12-18 months to complete.

Cosmetic dentistry can be wallet friendly as well. Many people assume that cosmetic dentistry will cost several thousands of dollars. While there are treatments that may cost several thousand dollars, there are also treatments within a few hundred dollars which may be affordable to many.

Cosmetic dentistry should never compromise the health of your teeth and must always be minimally invasive. Invasive procedures will never give you lasting benefits. Make sure you have an in depth consultation with your dentist to find out the most conservative way to improve your smile without compromising the health of your teeth.

A Trial Smile is one of the best ways to get a sneak preview of your improved smile before any lasting treatment is done on your teeth. The best part of a trial smile is that it is completely reversible.

Visit us at Coast Dental and ask us for a trial smile and see what improvements you can make to your smile which will never go out of fashion.

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Preventive dentistry is the foundation of modern dentistry. Most dental diseases have no symptoms till advanced stages of disease. As dentists we often tell our adult patients to visit a dentist every 6 months for an oral check to detect diseases early and to prevent these diseases from progressing to advanced oral diseases. Detecting dental diseases in children and treating them is one of the best forms of preventive dentistry.

A child’s first adult tooth usually erupts at the age of about 6 years old. Once the adult tooth has erupted the tooth is meant to function throughout the entire life of the child through adulthood! That tooth needs to be healthy in the mouth for the next 60-70 years.

Some children lose their adult tooth at a very early age and this can become a stressful situation for parents when thinking about replacement options.

Options for tooth replacements include dentures, bridges and dental implants. Some of these procedures can only be carried out when the child is older. Although these replacement options are readily available, every effort should be made to maintain and protect one’s own natural tooth.

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Apart from genetics, lifestyle and habits also have a big role to play in the health of children’s teeth. The extended use of pacifiers, the age at which a child changes from using a children’s toothpaste to an adult toothpaste, the age a child switches from drinking from a milk bottle to a cup, timing of snacks during the day, falling asleep while drinking milk from a bottle, medications the child is taking and thumb sucking are some of the many lifestyle factors that can significantly affect the dental health of a child which can lead to dental problems in adulthood. Breathing through the mouth while sleeping instead of using the nose can lead to poor developments of the jaws. Allergies, enlarged tonsils and adenoids are common causes of mouth breathing. Some adults go through extensive braces treatment and even consider jaw surgeries later in life to correct a cosmetic or functional problem that can arise from poorly developed jaws contributed by mouth breathing.

Dental treatment can be an unnerving experience for both adults and children. The bright lights from the dental chair, strange sounds from the dental equipment and water being squirted into the mouth can all seem very daunting at first. But this can change to a very comfortable experience when a child knows what to expect during a dental treatment.

Children need to be introduced to various dental experiences gradually for them to overcome this fear. The American Accademy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the first dental visit to be before a child’s first birthday. Sometimes a child’s first dental visit occurs when he/she is having a toothache. Although the dental treatment can still be managed the experience for the child may not be ideal. A nervous and anxious child may sometimes need general anaesthesia or sedation to proceed with dental treatment which may otherwise be completed under local anaesthesia in a co-operative child.

There are many benefits in bringing a child early for a dental consultation. A child’s baby teeth are needed for proper speech and social development, nutrition and act as a guide for the adult teeth to develop. A negative dental experience during childhood can lead to dental phobias to develop in adulthood.

Bringing a child early for a dental check up will help in preventing many dental problems and also create positive dental experiences for life.

By Dr Nijam Latiff
BDS (Singapore)
FRACDS (Australia)