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Category: Restorative Dentistry

High Fillings Explained

HighFillingIf you have had a recent filling, you may have been perplexed if your dentist told you to bite down on a colored piece of paper, and then asked: “does your filling feel too high?” Most patients experience a degree of anxiety about having a dental procedure performed on them, naturally, so when you’ve come to the end, you’re likely ready to go home. Add this to the challenge that your mouth is probably still numb from general anesthetic, and you may find the high filling question a little difficult to answer. However, if you end up with a filling set too high, you’re likely to end up feeling considerable discomfort.

Why Does a High Filling Cause Discomfort?

High fillings put stress on your periodontal ligament. The inflammation causes tenderness, discomfort, and sometimes out-and-out pain. Every time you bite down with a high filling, you can even end up with acute apical periodontitis (also known as symptomatic apical periodontitis). Feeling pain at the site of your new filling might really concern you. Could this be an infection? Am I going to have to get the filling done all over again? Luckily, if your problem is a high filling, your dentist will likely have a swift solution. Going in to see Dr. Johnson to get the high filling ground down to the right level to even out your bite will usually only require a few minutes back in the dental chair.

How to Identify a High Filling

After you’ve left your dentist’s office, and the local anesthetic has worn off, a little discomfort might be usual with a new filling. However, if you feel actual pain, or the discomfort lasts for days, you likely have a high filling. You may also feel a misalignment when you bite down. If your new filling just doesn’t feel right, call your dentist immediately. Once the filling is corrected, your periodontal ligament may still need a little time to heal, but you are likely to feel as good as new within two weeks.

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Root Canal Treatment: Not So Bad

Smile Head TiltThe bacteria responsible for tooth decay will go as far as they can to wreak mass havoc on your dental health. Left to their own devices, they will spread, reaching your dental pulp and putting your entire tooth in danger. Fortunately, root canal treatment (also known as endodontics) allows dentists to intervene at this stage and preserve the tooth’s structure so you don’t have to face replacement. You may fear the words “root canal,” but Des Moines dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson, wants to make sure you know that these procedures are not as bad as you may presume.

The Need for Root Canal Treatment

When tooth decay progresses to a tooth’s pulp and roots, the root canals become infected. This is like shutting down the highways that make commerce possible within your teeth. In essence, your tooth is very much in danger at this point. If left untreated, infection will continue to spread, and tooth loss is likely. The infection may spread into other parts of your mouth or jaw, or even into other parts of your body.

The Root Canal Procedure

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The Amazing Job of Dental Fillings

Smile Close upYou don’t want to hear that you have a cavity. Hopefully, you try your best to maintain preventive dental care with good oral hygiene and biannual dental visits. If you do have tooth decay, the tried-and-true solution is usually a dental fillingDes Moines dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson places fillings in patient’s teeth all the time, so there’s no reason to panic if you need one.

Cavities Brewing

Cavities start as a result of harmful bacteria. There are hundreds of germs in your mouth, but Streptococcus mutans are the tooth decay culprits. S. mutans create cavities in teeth because they convert sugar into lactic acid which demineralizes tooth enamel leaving dentin susceptible to the hungry germs. The bacteria are also able to adhere to teeth by forming a sticky, clear substance called plaque. When plaque attaches to teeth, the bacteria perpetrate concentrated damage to teeth in a specific area, and if the plaque is not removed, a cavity can develop.

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FAQs: Replacing Lost Teeth with Innovative Dental Implants


Do you have one or more missing teeth? According to a study commissioned by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 69% of adults between the ages of 35 and 44 are missing at least one permanent tooth. Fortunately, dental implants provide a secure and lifelike method of replacing lost teeth.

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Quiz: What are Partial Dentures?


Tooth loss can lead to a number of health and esthetic issues. To maintain your dental health, you need to replace your missing teeth with as quality prosthetic. Partial dentures can help return your smile to full function and health.

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MapValley Ridge Family Dental
6150 Village View Drive, #109,
West Des Moines, IA, 50266
Phone: 515.223.9764
After-hours emergency: 515.423.0445
Fax: 515.327.6230

Office Hours

Monday: 8 am-5 pm
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: 8 am-5 pm
Thursday: 7:30 am- 1:30 pm
Friday: 7:30 am-4:30 pm