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Dentistry/Raised Filling?

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Question
I'm wondering how do you tell if a filling is starting to raise? I was brushing my teeth lastnight and noticed that 2 fillings in 2 front top teeth looked slightly raised. I inherited bad teeth from both parents and these 2 fillings are larger fillings. I just noticed this yesterday and I can't feel any ridges when I run my tongue over the teeth but they feel rough when I gently run a finger over them. Is it normal for larger fillings to look slightly raised? Unfortunately it's been some years since I've been to the dentist and I don't drive and I'm on a low income with no affordable dentists that take low income with in walking/taxi distance.

Answer
Hi Leeann and thanks for your question which I am answering from the question pool.

You don't mention how long ago these 2 fillings were done but from what you explain, it is unlikely that both these 2 fillings would become raised without a definite joint cause.  Some fillings, especially in the posterior regions (molars and premolars) start to extrude from the cavity due to a number of reasons, such as an increase in cavity pressure, poor bonding of the material to the cavity walls, changes within the material itself due to incorrect mixing and/or application, etc.  What you could be experiencing is some wear of the filling at the filling-tooth interface or even some wear of the enamel of tooth, which would then make it appear as if the fillings are slightly proud of the normal tooth structure.  The ridges you speak about are called mamelons and much more prominent on teeth which have just erupted, but over time they tend to wear away under normal function - this is not remarkable or pathological in nature.  I would suggest that you make an appointment with your dentist just to make sure the integrity of these 2 fillings is still fine and the cancel out anything more sinister developing there, which would inevitably be more costly for you.  At the same time, have a general check up because in dentistry, fore warned is fore armed and you don't need any unpleasant surprises later on. I hope this helps and wish you a painless resolution of this problem.  Take care.

Dr Craig Peck

Dentistry

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Dr Craig W Peck ( B.Med.Sc., B.Ch.D., Clin. Botox, Cosmet. Derm.)

Expertise

I am a General Dental Practitioner, with special interests in Cosmetic Dentistry & facial aesthetics and Periodontology, placing a strong emphasis on the establishment and maintenance of a healthy periodontium (the support structure of the tooth) before cosmetic options are considered. I uphold all principles of prevention above interventional treatment and try as far as possible, to remain conservative in my approach. I believe in detailed, open and honest patient discussion, establishing what the patients expectations are and what the reality is of achieving this and involving the patient at every level of the treatment. I have strong principles on ethical treatment and appropriate patient management. I have chosen to treat and rehabilitate many nervous and phobic patients, who, for whatever reason, find it impossible to take part in the very important task of even a routine check-up. I will accept questions relating to general and cosmetic dentistry (in conjunction with the use of facial cosmetic procedures) and dental fears/phobias. I will be more than willing to answer any academic questions in dentistry, biology, physiology, psychology and health sciences in general. As most dentists will tell you, there is often not only one way of dealing with a dental issue - so very often, there is no precise right and wrong way of approaching the problem. All clinicians vary when it comes to treatments and what works best in their hands is often the treatment that is advised. Be understanding of this and bear in mind that nothing lasts forever! Patients are happy to accept only a one-years warrantee when buying a new car, but seem to expect that dental work is going to last them their lifetime.

Experience

I have worked for many years in the UK and RSA as a general dental practitioner - within the NHS, private practice and the government dental health services. I am certificated for the administration of Botox and Dermal Fillers for facial lines and wrinkles as I have attended further courses in minimally invasive facial cosmetic procedures. I started seeing an increasing number of patients who presented with severe to moderate dental fears, even with full-blown phobias, so I started with the slow and patient task of tackling this problem and have successfully rehabilitated many patients. The key is good, effective, concise and understandable communication, shifting control from the dentist to the patient in order to slowly, but confidently, regain their trust back in dentistry, thereby giving them the feeling of achievement and this self-empowerment which drives them to the next level of treatment.

Organizations
Academy of General Dentistry. American Dental Education Association. IAPAM (International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine). Professional Speakers, Writers and Managements Consultants in Dentistry. The British Dental Association. UK Aesthetics Group. ARC - Aesthetic Professionals. Botox. Aesthetics & Beauty. American Association for Dental Research. FDI - World Dental Federation. SOURCE1uk. World Dental Hygiene Forum. ProDentalCPD. Public Health Dentistry. Dentist Network. LinkedIn. Who's Who of South Africa.

Education/Credentials
B.Med.Sc. Degree (Medical Physiology and Medical Virology; Physiology Cum Laude; Stell 1994). B.Ch.D. Degree (Bachelor of Dental Surgery; Clinical Dentistry Cum Laude; Stell 1997). CPR and CPR-Advanced Courses (2000/2001; UK). Clinical Botox (UK, 2001). Cosmetic Dermatology (Botox and Dermal Fillers; RSA 2011).

Awards and Honors
Placed on the Dean's List at University for academic achievement (1994). Highest achievement in the subject Dental Materials. Medal from 3M and the Radiology Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Dental Radiology and Imaging. Medal from The Periodontal Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Periodontology. Highest achievement for Oral Medicine. Highest achievement in Oral Pathology. Received the DASA (Dental Ass. of South Africa) Gold Medal for highest achieving dental student across the 5 1/2 years of the Degree. Passed the subject, Clinical Dentistry with distinction in final year.

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