Dental cavities have to be removed and replaced with fillings.
Completed cavities fixed with white fillings.
Fillings are a simple way of fixing your teeth with small to medium sized cavities or fractures. Dental fillings are very useful in dentistry and have many different implications. For example, fillings are used to restore tooth cavities, repair broken teeth and even perform certain cosmetic procedures like closing small gaps or dental bonding. Dental fillings come in a wide variety of materials including gold, silver (Amalgam) and natural-looking white fillings (composite and resin). Our office, Oceansight Dental & Implants, primarily uses white fillings to restore your cavities and broken teeth. We stay away from gold and silver (Amalgam) fillings due to their cost and potential unwanted side-effects.
Filling your teeth helps protect them against more serious complications. For instance, if you don’t fill on a tooth with a cavity, the cavity continues becoming develop larger. Eventually, your tooth develops an infection. At this point, you can no longer fix the tooth with a simple filling. You most will likely need a root canal treatment or possibly have to remove your tooth altogether. Don’t wait until your cavities become so large that they can no longer be fixed with a dental filling! Call us today at (949) 481-2540 or schedule your appointment online today. Come visit us in our San Clemente, Orange County dental office to see how easy it is to fix your cavities with dental fillings.
When does my tooth need a filling?
Fillings are one of the most common treatments offered by general dentists. The reason for this is fillings are very versatile and have many different implications in dentistry. Here’s a look at some dental conditions which can be treated with fillings:
Fixing dental cavities
The most common use for dental fillings is repairing tooth cavities. When a tooth develops a cavity, it will never go away. Dental cavities continue becoming larger and getting closer to your tooth nerve unless your dentist fix them. Once your dentist removes the tooth decay, there will be a large hole left behind. This hole is now filled with fillings such as white or silver (Amlagam) fillings. Placing a filling protects your tooth against further damage and avoids the need for root canal, crown or possible tooth loss.
Teeth with small cracks
Dental fillings can also be used to fix cracks and fractured teeth. Your dentist will remove these fracture lines and replace the missing tooth structure with white or silver (Amalgam) fillings. Fillings are an excellent choice for repairing smaller cracks or fractures. However, larger cracks and fractures typically can not be fixed with a filling. Larger cracks and fracture typically require a crown or other more extensive restorative options.
Cosmetic dentistry treatments
Fillings can also be used for certain cosmetic dentistry procedures. For instance, dental bonding and composite veneers can be placed on your front teeth to enhance the appearance of your smile. White fillings can be placed on your front teeth to fix stains, discolorations and other cosmetic defects. They can even be used to close small gaps in between your teeth.
Other uses for dental fillings
There are other implications for fillings in dentistry aside from the ones listed above. Dental fillings are also used for repairing tooth abrasions, sealing dental implant abutments, opening your bite during orthodontic treatment, temporary crowns, etc. If you are interested in getting a filling, give Oceansight Dental & Implants a call today. Contact us at (949) 481-2540 to schedule your appointment today. We look forward to helping you fix your dental needs in our downtown San Clemente dental office!
What are the different types of dental fillings?
Silver fillings stand out and may not be as attractive
White Fillings blend in with your teeth to look more natural
Dental fillings are synthetic material used to restore missing tooth structure. Regardless of the material, all dental fillings are durable, resilient and long-lasting. There are three basic types of fillings which are silver (Amlagam) fillings, white (composite and resin) fillings and gold fillings . Here is what you need to know about type of filling:
Silver fillings (Amalgam)
Silver fillings, or Amalgam, is the most widely used filling material. Amalgam is very popular because silver fillings are easy to place, water-resistant and extremely durable. The downside of silver fillings is that Amalgam contains mercury which is a known toxin. There is no definitive proof that Amalgam fillings cause toxicity, but our dental office stays away from silver fillings due to its mercury content as well as poor aesthetic outcome.
White fillings (Composite or resin)
White fillings, composites and resins, have came a long way in the past few decades. The current generation of white fillings are sturdy, durable and aesthetically pleasing. White fillings can be used for restoring front and back teeth with equally great outcome. Plus, white fillings come in a variety of shades which allows your dentist to match your tooth color. White fillings give your teeth a natural-looking appearance and blend in with your teeth to become virtually invisible. If you are interested in learning more about white fillings, feel free to give us a call. We can be reached at (949) 481-2540 or you can schedule your appointment online today.
In the old days, gold filings used to be the standard of care. Gold is malleable, durable and easily contoured which makes gold the perfect tooth filling material. However, gold fillings are rarely ever used to fix teeth these days. The high cost of gold and the availability of more aesthetic and natural-looking alternatives such as white fillings has made gold fillings obsolete.
What is a tooth filling procedure like?
Filling your teeth is one of the simplest of all dental procedures. Dental fillings are a simple and cost-effective way of fixing teeth with small-to-medium sized cavities and cracks. Here is what you should expect from a typical dental filling procedure:
Removing your tooth decay, fracture or cracks
Your treatment starts off by numbing your tooth or teeth. Typically, one to two shots is all you need for most dental fillings. Once numb, your dentist will start by removing the cavity or fracture. Your dentist will make sure that there are no more cavity bugs left behind to prevent recurring problems in the future.
Filling your tooth
Once your tooth has been properly prepared the cavity has been removed it’s time to fill the hole created in your tooth. Your dentist will pack the tooth with white or silver filling, whichever you had selected for your treatment. After you filling has been completed, your dentist will check to make sure the filling is smooth and comfortable. Your dentist will check your bite, examine the contacts and smooth our rough edges. Pay close attention to the fit and feel of your new filling to make sure it feels comfortable to you. That’s it! To learn more about what you can and can’t do after having a tooth filling, click here.
What are the limitations of fillings?
Dental fillings are a great option for fixing different dental problems. Fillings are primarily used to repair small-to-medium sized cavities, cracks and fractures. However, fillings are not a good option for larger cavities or deep fractures. Fillings do not provide enough support to restore severely damaged teeth. For these larger defects you typically need to place a crown or porcelain veneer on your teeth.
Your dentist can help you decide if a filling is a good option or if you need to consider something more definitive. Schedule your appointment with us by calling (949) 481-2540 to get started with fixing your damaged teeth today. You can also come and visit us in our San Clemente dental office to have your teeth examined. Don’t wait until you have a toothache, give us a call today and get those teeth filled before it’s too late!
Fillings and general dentistry in San Clemente, Orange County
If you have dental cavities, broken teeth and other dental needs, we can help. Giev us a call today if you live in or near San Clemente, Orange County and need to see a dentist. You can reach us at (949)481-2540 or book your appointment online today. Our dentist, Dr. Jazayeri, will examine your teeth to see if a tooth filling is a good option. Treatment is easier and more affordable if you fix your tooth cavities early on. Don’t delay treatment any longer, a simple dental cavity today will turn into an infection sooner or later! If you’re interested in learning more about dentistry topics related to fillings, click on the following links:
A pus pocket containing harmful bacteria that forms around infected teeth. Teeth with abscess are considered infected and they either need root canal treatment or must be extracted.
Amalgam (silver filling)
Material used to fill dental cavities. Amalgam is silver colored and contains Mercury. As a filling material, Amalgam is durable and effective. However, there are some concerns about the safety of using Mercury to restore teeth.
Refer to premolar tooth please.
Canine tooth (cuspid or eye tooth)
A strong, pointed tooth with a single cusp used to direct other teeth as we chew side-to-side. Canine teeth are very strong and typically outlast all other teeth as we age. We have 4 total canines, teeth numbers: 6, 11, 22 and 27.
A hole inside a tooth created by harmful cavity bugs. Dental cavities can cause slight tooth sensitivity, particularly to cold and sweets. They can also be asymptomatic. If left untreated, dental cavities infiltrate the tooth pulp and cause abscess and infection.
Composite resin (white filling)
Material used to fill dental cavities and broken teeth. Composite resin is safe, effective and matches your tooth color. Cosmetic dentists prefer using composite resins to other filling restoration material due to their natural appearance.
A large restoration that replaces the majority of your tooth structure above the gum line. Crowns are used to fix teeth which can no longer be salvaged with a simple filling. Crowns are typically made from gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal or ceramic material.
Refer to cavity please.
Deep cleaning (scaling & root planning)
A type of dental cleaning which focuses on removing plaque and tartar underneath your gum line. Deep cleanings are used to treat gum disease. Most deep cleanings are performed in multiple sessions and often times require anesthesia.
Teeth cleaning performed by your dentist or hygienist. Dental cleaning focuses on removing plaque and tartar which can’t be removed by brushing or flossing alone. Dental cleanings are categorized as simple cleaning or deep cleaning.
The middle portion of your tooth which is located above the pulp and underneath the enamel. Unlike enamel, dentin has nerve endings which makes it sensitive to tooth decay.
Removable, false teeth used to replace your missing natural teeth. Dentures are made from pink and white acrylic. The pink portion secures your dentures in place and the white segment replaces your missing teeth. There are many different types of dentures including full dentures and partial dentures.
The very hard outer portion of your tooth. In fact, enamel is the hardest tissue found in our bodies. Enamel protects your tooth from cavities and provides it with the strength to cut and chew food.
Material used by dentists to replace missing tooth structure. Fillings are used to fix dental cavities and broken teeth. Fillings are made from gold (mostly obsolete), Amalgam (silver filling) or composite resin (white filling).
Full Denture (Complete denture)
A set of false teeth which replaces all of your teeth in one arch. Full dentures are held in place by the suction they provide against your gum tissue. Full dentures are typically made from pink and white acrylic.
The earlier stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is characterized by bleeding gums, bad breath and minor tooth sensitivity. If left untreated, gingivitis progresses to the more advanced stage of gum disease known as periodontitis.
Gum Disease (Periodontal disease)
Disease of the gums and jaw bone. Gum disease is caused by spread of harmful bacteria to your gum and jaw bone. Gum disease causes bleeding gums, bone loss and tooth loss. Gum disease is categorized as gingivitis and periodontitis.
A tooth which is trapped underneath your jaw bone. Impacted tooth typically refers to wisdom teeth, although other teeth can also be impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth usually need to be removed. Other impacted teeth need to be removed, monitored or uprighted by your orthodontist.
The front most four teeth in your upper and lower jaw. Incisor teeth are used to cut food particles. We have 8 total incisors, teeth numbers: 7, 8, 9, 10, 23, 24, 25 and 26.
Spread of harmful bacteria into your tooth nerve. Once cavity bugs reach your tooth nerve, the tooth is now infected. Infected teeth can only be fixed with a root canal or you must remove the tooth completely.
A type of crown which is a hybrid between fillings and crowns. Inlays are essentially conservative crowns which protect teeth similar to a crown but are conservative similar to a filling. Inlays are smaller than onlays and do not encompass your outer tooth walls.
Teeth located in the back of our mouth which have four cusps. Molar teeth are large and used to crush food particles. We have 8 total molars, teeth numbers: 2, 3, 14, 15, 18, 19, 30 and 31. Additionally, some of us have 3rd molars or wisdom teeth which are teeth numbers: 1, 16, 17 and 32.
Refer topulp please.
A device worn at nights to protect your teeth against grinding. Night guards help reduce tooth fracture, TMJ pain and headaches. There are two types of night guards, generic night guards which you purchase online or from a local pharmacy and custom night guards which your dentist makes for you.
A type of crown which is a hybrid between fillings and crowns. Onlays are essentially conservative crowns which protect teeth similar to a crown but are conservative similar to a filling. Onlays are larger than inlays and encompass at least one or more of your outer tooth walls.
A set of false teeth which replaces some, but not all, of your missing teeth. Partial dentures are held in place by anchoring to your remaining teeth as well as suction against your gum tissue. Partial dentures can be made from different material including metals, acrylic and flexible resin.
Refer to gum disease please.
The more advanced stage of gum disease. Periodontitis is characterized by bone loss, major tooth sensitivity and loose teeth. If left untreated, periodontitis causes your teeth to loosen and fall out. Plus, the resulting infection can spread to the rest of your body and affect your overall health.
Premolar tooth (bicsupid)
Transitional teeth between our front and molar teeth. Premolars have two cusps and are used to crush food particles. They are also the teeth most commonly removed for braces treatment. We have 8 total bisupids, teeth numbers: 4, 5, 12, 13, 20, 21, 28 and 29.
The innermost tooth layer which lies underneath your dentin. Your tooth pulp contains nerves and blood vessels. When your tooth pulp becomes damaged this results in a toothache. Once this happens, you require a root canal treatment or must remove the tooth.
Pulpotomy is the equivalent of a baby root canal. It entails removing the nerve structure from infected baby teeth. Performing a pulpotomy eliminates toothache while allowing your child to keep the tooth itself in order to prevent potential orthodontic complications.
Root canal treatment
A procedure to remove infected tooth nerve to eliminate pain and infection. During root canal treatment your dentist will disinfect your tooth and replace the missing nerve with sterile material known as Gutta Percha. Root canal treatment eliminates pain and infection and allows you to keep the tooth.
Scaling & root planning
Refer to deep cleaning please.
A preventive treatment used to protect children’s teeth. Dental sealants are placed on teeth with deep groves, typically molars, to protect them against tooth decay and infection. Sealants are very effective and safe and do not require any tooth structure removal.
Techniques used to calm patients with anxiety during dental treatment. There are many different sedation techniques in dentistry such as Nitrous Oxide, oral conscious sedation, IV sedation and general anesthesia.
Refer to Amalgam please.
A dental cleaning performed in absence of gum disease. Simple cleanings typically entail basic tooth scraping and polishing, occasionally with Fluoride treatment. Most people require a simple cleaning once every 6 months, although if you’re suffering from gum disease you need one every 3 to 4 months.
Refer to wisdom tooth please.
Refer to composite resin please.
Wisdom tooth (third molar)
Tooth which is located all the way in the back of your mouth. Wisdom teeth start erupting in your late teens or twenties. Not everyone has wisdom teeth. For those that do, there’s a high probability that you have to remove these teeth. Otherwise, they will cause pain, swelling and infection.