Fillings: Know the difference between Alloy and Composite

Fillings are one of the many restorative options available for your teeth. Depending on your oral status and if decay is present, your dentist might recommend a filling as a restorative option. There are a few fillings we place here in the office called; composite and amalgam/ or alloy fillings.

Amalgam fillings are silver in color, are usually placed in the posterior teeth. Amalgam fillings are very durable and can with stand the intense pressure of chewing and grinding. However, amalgam fillings are a conductor of hot and cold temperature changes in the mouth from eating and drinking and can cause the filling to expand/contract and over time your teeth might form cracks around the existing filling. This may lead to being replaced over time. Cracks or open margins around the fillings can cause bacteria to get under the filling and create decay into the tooth, which is why check up x-rays and cleanings are so important! Your dentist can keep watch of your fillings and catch cracks or decay early before they cause a real issue like a root canal or crown.

Composite fillings are white in color and can be placed on any tooth in the mouth. With the composite fillings they blend into your teeth and are very esthetically pleasing. Composite fillings also can help prevent cracks from spreading due to the bonding agents used to place the filling. However, placing a composite filling is very technique sensitive and need to have a dry tooth in order to have the filling placed, therefore the dentist might not recommend them on the second or third molars. Composite fillings have less sensitivity issues and tend to be more comfortable after restorations are complete.

If you are recommended to have a filling placed and want to know more about the difference, please talk to your dentist about your options!

Patty, Dental Assistant

Bedtime Ideas for Littles

Let’s chat about the struggles of our children not wanting to brush their teeth before bedtime. In our household it used to be a constant battle. We as parents are burnt out at the end of the day and when it comes to brushing, it’s easy to not follow through and it is the last thing our kids want to do. BUT… I have found a few fun tricks that have helped my child be more motivated to brush those little chompers. Keep in mind, these won’t work with everyone or every kid, but they are worth a try!

  1. Teaching them ‘HOW’ we brush our teeth. Children are sponges, and mine loves to learn new things that she can share with her friends. So this is a motivator for her because she loves the idea of knowing more! I found this great video on YouTube that demonstrates the process, and easy for toddlers to follow! PLUS it is 2min long and to a nursery rhyme so it is easy to remember!
  2. Implementing new tools! Kids are curious, and bring new products/instruments for them to use in their mouth is fantastic. We have used different flossers, electric tooth brushes, flavored tooth paste, etc. This also helps them make decisions of what they do and don’t like. We like TOM’s fluoride free training tooth paste, the Crayola kids flossers by SunStar GUM (different colors to choose from in one pack) and Colgate battery operated spin brush (with Poppy from DreamWorks Trolls).
  3. Make a Chart! Kids need routine, so making them a chart helps them remember to brush! And they like reward—so giving them a gold star, or working toward a goal at the end of the week or month makes it fun! We like to set a goal for each week and then an overall goal for the month. Showing them the progress is a great motivator! He is an example:

Good oral hygiene is key for children avoiding long term affects into their adult years, so preparing them now with good habits will pay off in the end! I hope some of these ideas help, or help you formulate your own ideas with your children. Thanks for reading!


November 2017 – Sleep

Few things are as misunderstood as sleep. Some new studies have helped us understand it better and I wanted to share some of the more recent findings.

For physical, mental, and emotional health, there is nothing better than deep reparative sleep. Here is the problem; all sleep medications are in the sedative hypnotic family, this does not put you in a healthy reparative delta wave sleep, but a hypnotic state that actually prevents you from going into deep sleep. Though sleep medications might seem helpful, long term they have been proven to show a highly increased risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s. Some people think melatonin is a helpful sleep aid. Melatonin has nothing to do with the mechanisms of healthy sleep, but is a crucial factor in the timing of sleep. As soon as your body perceives it is getting dark outside you start producing melatonin. As the days are getting shorter, and it gets dark earlier and earlier, you will notice a tendency to want to go to sleep earlier, this is due to melatonin.

Melatonin can be incredibly helpful in helping you adjust to a time change when traveling or if you work evenings in a well lit office to help your body think it’s night time. The real factor and issue with sleep is adenosine. The second you wake up your body starts producing adenosine. During the day as your adenosine builds up you will get more and more tired, until finally you have enough adenosine in your system to require sleep. So why doesn’t everybody feel sleepy? Why do more than 70% of Americans need to rely on some sort of sleep aid every night? It comes down to the second highest commodity traded in the world. The highest traded substance is petroleum. Any guesses as to what reigns in at number 2??? Yep, it’s caffeine.

In its variety of forms, coffee, tea, soda, caffeine is distributed more widely than anything else. Any guesses what caffeine does?? The mechanism of caffeine is to block the build up of adenosine. So the more caffeine you imbibe, the slower the adenosine builds up, the less tired you are when it’s time to sleep, the more likely you are to take a sleeping aid to go to sleep, the less likely you are to get a good restful sleep, the more tired you are when you wake up, the more likely you are to have caffeine in the morning to help you get started etc. etc. So what are we to do?

Sleep is crucial to our health and happiness, if you find yourself unable to sleep without a sleep aid here are some helpful tips so you can lower your risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s and increase your healthy restorative, reparative sleep and be happier. The first and most helpful thing you can do is minimize or curb entirely your caffeine intake. The second thing is to find a way to go outside when it starts getting dark, go for a walk in the evenings, or open your windows and turn off most of your electric lights in your home when it’s dark outside so your body can start generating melatonin faster. Hopefully this will help some of you felt more rested and healthy.

August 2017 – Summer Fun

Summertime means longer days, camping, movies, school/church camps, concerts/symphonies in the park along with many outdoor activities, vacations, stay-cations and honeydew lists.  When the Montana fair comes to town we know school is right around the corner.

This time of year can bring about new beginnings. For some people it can mean retirement, empty nesters, college, high school, middle school, and primary school. The stores have been preparing for back to school and will be packed with shoppers.  I look forward to getting back into a routine. Organization and preparation is one of the keys for back to school routines and is very helpful with busy school schedules.  As you prepare for back to school remember take care of your most important asset, you! If you are a teacher or an administrator we have a Thank You gift!

August is Teacher Appreciation Month. Dr Tanner is offering free take home whitening to all Billings and surrounding area teachers and school administrators.  If you always wanted a whiter brighter smile call us today. This is Dr Tanner’s way of saying THANK YOU for all you do to empower our community by equipping kids for the future.

Lisa Lovering, MADAA

July 2017 – Invisalign

Invisalign are clear aligners (clear plastic trays), also known as clear-aligner treatment, that are orthodontic devices that use incremental transparent aligners to adjust teeth as an alternative to traditional metal braces.

Invisalign is a multi step process to getting the straight teeth you have always dreamed of! At Grand Avenue Dental Care we use a digital scanner called Itero that takes a 3D image of your teeth. After the scans are complete we send them to have your trays made. Before we submit to the company the patient will sit down with Dr. Tanner and go over how many trays you will need to complete your treatment and be shown a digital video on how their teeth will move over time.

When the patient decides to proceed with treatment we process and have the trays made and sent to our office and in about two weeks you’ll be starting your Invisalign journey!

Patient testimony:

“I went through Invisalign for roughly a year and a half and now I have the smile I have always dreamed of having!

The first few trays are getting used to the tightness of the tray but also getting used to changing your dental routine. You have to floss and brush after eating or drinking anything other than water or food because it will get jammed up into your gum tissues. After roughly a month I came back into the office to have the attachments (buttons) placed, Dr. Tanner placed composite attachments to my teeth matching the shade my teeth. After bonding the attachments in place I got my new set of trays and then the moving really got going. Every 6 weeks you come in for a new set of trays, the appointments take very little time out of your day, sometimes Dr. Tanner has to INP (interporximal stripping) to make sure your teeth have enough room to move and floss. After my last trays we removed the buttons and I was placed in my Viveras (night retainers) full time for a month for the bone to harden then graduated to just at night! I am so glad I went through this journey, not only do I have a smile I have always wanted but also boosted my self confidence! Invisalign was one of the best choices I have ever made about my dental health!” –Patty

Patricia Furman, CDA

September 2016

Welcome to a day in the life of Grand Avenue Dental Care. This is what you can expect when you walk into our dental practice; first you will be greeted with a welcoming smile by Jandi.
We guarantee friendly customer service.

In the background you may hear the sound of phones ringing, printers printing, laughter and conversations. Amongst the back ground chatter you will see Janine, our hygiene coordinator making courtesy calls for upcoming appointments or Debbie getting insurance information to help each patient maximize their dental benefits.


As a new patient, Jandi or Lisa will give you a brief tour of the front office, sit down in a private room to review your personal information and ask you what we can do as a team to exceed and/or meet your personal dental goals / expectations for your oral health! Following your goals, we will then introduce you to your hygienist Lynn, Christina or Robbin. Dr. Tanner will also be introduced and if you have dental needs Laura, Tina and Patty are at Dr. Tanner’s right side to assist and take care of all your dental goals.


Our whole team is active with continuing education so you can be confident in the fact that we will deliver the highest quality care with cutting edge technology using the best dental materials, at the greatest value to serve all your dental needs.

It is always a pleasure to see our regular dental family members. However, if this is your first time to our office, we welcome you and are happy you have chosen GADC as your dental home!
Lisa Lovering, Office Manager​