Cavities happen to nearly everyone, and when they do, it’s reassuring to know the team at La Jolla Family Smile Design is here to repair the damage and restore your tooth to its normal function and appearance. The process to do so usually requires one visit to our dental practice.
Our priority is, first and foremost, the health and strength of the affected tooth; luckily, modern dental materials are also attractive, so we can repair the damage and help the affected tooth look totally natural, as if it never developed a cavity. If you are concerned about how your filling will look, we can use tooth-colored filling material that resembles natural tooth structure.
What Is a Dental Filling?
A dental filling is a restoration that literally fills the space left over after decayed or damaged tooth material has been removed. Fillings restore a normal shape and appearance to the tooth and strengthen the tooth so it can chew and bite properly.
Dental fillings are most commonly used to repair teeth with cavities. However, they can also be used to repair teeth that have developed small chips or cracks, or teeth that have worn down due to chronic grinding or clenching.
Types of Tooth Fillings
Options of tooth filling materials used to be quite limited. Conspicuous metal materials like gold or silver were very popular, but they stood out noticeably in the mouth and would expand and contract, weakening the tooth over time. As materials have evolved, our dentists are now able to offer tooth-colored materials like composite resin. Composite resin is made from plastic resin and a filler of finely ground glass particles. Strong and attractive, composite resin fillings are a great option to restore teeth that show when smiling. (Note that other filling types may be employed in cases of large cavities or cavities in areas of the mouth subject to a lot of pressure when biting or chewing.)
Tooth-Colored Filling Placement Details
The process of placing a tooth-colored filling is relatively quick and we will ensure it is a comfortable experience for you. The affected area of your mouth will be numbed so you do not feel any pain.
The first step is for one of our dentists to remove the damaged portion of tooth enamel. Next, the dentist will clean the tooth and prepare it for the filling material. Then, the dentist will fill the leftover space with composite resin material, shaping it to match the natural tooth shape. A special light is used to harden the filling material. We finish by smoothing out any rough edges and polishing the entire tooth.
How to Ensure Best Results
The tooth with the filling may be slightly sensitive as the numbing medicine wears off. If you have discomfort, we recommend eating soft foods for a few days. We also encourage you to be diligent about at-home oral care to prevent future cavities. Brushing and flossing are critical to avoid dental decay.
Learn More About Tooth-Colored Fillings
If you are interested in more information about tooth-colored fillings and the other restorative options available at our practice, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our team. Please call 858-454-3044 or email us today to request an appointment.