Cheeky Dentist
March 13, 2011 7:56 AM   Subscribe

My new dentist recommended I get buccal fillings and I'd like to know more about this as I have several teeth affected.

My gums have receded some, exposing a little of the root on my molars and my new dentist wants to fill the area between the gum and enamel. Her description made it sound like filling a cavity except there's no gum disease or tooth decay present. About 7 years ago my previous dentist mentioned that my gums were receding and he just kept an eye on things over the years since I'm not experiencing any pain or sensitivity.

None of my immediate family members have had this procedure done and searching around isn't getting me much more information. Is this a necessary preventative measure, a protective one to guard against sensitivity, cosmetic or something else? How long will the filling last? I'd appreciate any information you could give me as I'm considering whether or not to have the procedure done.
posted by hoppytoad to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hello, as it happens, i'm a dentist.
If i understood correctly, you have some recession in somerteeth (molars). What your dentist suggested you is in a way a preventive measure. You don't experience any hypersensitivity or pain, and you don't have decay, so it's not urgent. Does it bother you? Does it affect your brushing?
posted by Cheirinhos at 8:59 AM on March 13, 2011

errata: some teeth
posted by Cheirinhos at 8:59 AM on March 13, 2011

Thanks for your reply. My brushing isn't affected by it and it doesn't bother me either. Both the new dentist and previous one suggested I use a softer toothbrush and to brush in a small, circular motion instead of long sweeps front to back so hopefully that'll help keep my gums from receding more.
posted by hoppytoad at 9:20 AM on March 13, 2011

Great points by Cheirinhos.

Without knowing the facts of your case, it's hard to determine proper treatment.

If they are NCCLs, then the thoughts on etiology and treatment may vary from dentist to dentist.

Personally, I treat these areas when there is decay, sensitivity or a food trap. For esthetic issues, I have patients see a periodontist who may be able to add soft tissue back over the roots of the teeth. This helps to lessen the "long in the tooth" look (and also solves the sensitivity and food trap issues).
posted by Cuspidx at 12:32 PM on March 13, 2011

I'm going to add weight to the opinions above, that decay, sensitivity or continued recession all factor in to whether or not these restorations are necessary or desired. it's never a bad thing to ask your dentist for more information on why he/she wants to restore these areas and make your decision on how sound you feel the response is.
posted by OHenryPacey at 11:19 AM on March 14, 2011

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