Dental Fillings

Dental Fillings

Fewer and fewer patients are in need of a filling these days, but that doesn’t mean cavities are no longer a possibility. If plaque and tartar are allowed to build upon your tooth enamel, they will eventually penetrate the surface of your teeth.

Cavities are easily treated, with fillings taking no more than 30 minutes to complete. If Dr. Kohani finds a cavity during a routine cleaning and evaluation, he will assess its severity and determine the best way to fill it.

Why Are Fillings Important?

Cavities are generally small holes that are noticeable on the surface of the tooth enamel. Although you may experience some symptoms, like tooth sensitivity and pain, many cavities are asymptomatic. During your biannual checkup, Dr. Kohani can assess your dental health and check for any cavities that may be present.

Just because cavities are tiny and relatively easy to address does not mean that they should remain untreated. If left to progress, cavities can expand, allowing plaque and tartar to spread and leading to potential infection.

The treatments available to stabilize and prevent disease are costly and expensive; catching cavities early on will keep your teeth, gums and body healthy without the need for extensive treatment.

Filling Your Cavities

If you have a cavity, it’s important for Dr. Kohani to treat it before moving on to other procedures that you desire. Cosmetic and orthodontic treatments will not be possible without addressing all underlying conditions first.

Dr. Kohani fills all cavities with composite material, which is made to match the color of your existing teeth. Composite, or tooth-colored fillings, are usually made from acrylic and glass in a powdered form and are shaded to blend in seamlessly with your dentition. As a result, your filling is hardly discernible from your smile.

Most patients want to maintain the natural appearance of their smile as much as possible or enhance it to look brighter or straighter. A tooth-colored filling makes it possible for you to improve your oral health without compromising your appearance.

Whereas silver fillings are somewhat conspicuous in the mouth, composite fillings are virtually invisible. The material also contains no mercury, which is often perceived as being a safer treatment option.

How Does Dr. Kohani Fill Cavities?

Through a dental cleaning and examination, Dr. Kohani can identify any cavities that need treatment. Some teeth may show the beginning signs of a dental cavity, but may not require treatment right away.

If you do need a filling, Dr. Kohani will prepare your tooth for the procedure. He will start by numbing the surrounding area and injecting a local anesthetic into the gums. Next, he will shave away the decay and place the composite material over the hole. To ensure that your filling remains fixed in place, Dr. Kohani will harden the composite material using a curing light.

Due to the anesthetic, you should feel no pain during or after your procedure. You might feel some soreness and sensitivity after the anesthesia wears off; however, any discomfort will last for only a few hours.

If you think you have a cavity that requires a filling, contact La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics at 858-295-0603 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Kohani.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Fillings

Dr. Kohani will assess your dental health and check for any cavities that may be present. Good candidates for dental fillings are individuals who have small cavities (dental caries) that do not require more extensive treatment, such as root canal therapy. If you have experienced tooth decay, then dental fillings may be ideal.

Most dental fillings require a numbing agent that prevents the patient from feeling any pain. Some dental filling scenarios may not require a numbing agent, as the filling is applied to areas where the nerves are not in contact.

The numbing agents often used in general dentistry are gels or injections that allow you to remain awake, calm, and responsive to the dentist’s instructions. After your dental filling is complete, the area should feel smooth and natural. Dental fillings should not disrupt your bite.

Dental fillings are appropriate for anyone with cavities, regardless of their age. There are specific types of fillings a dentist may prefer when it comes to pediatric dentistry. For certain children, a dentist may offer other options besides dental fillings.

Complications are unlikely to develop after a patient has dental fillings. Some dental filling materials contain metal elements that could be absorbed into the body through the mouth. These elements, such as mercury, zinc, and silver, are proven to be harmful to the body. Luckily, Dr. Kohani only performs dental fillings with a safe, FDA-approved composite material. According to the FDA, composite fillings are the most common alternative to metal dental fillings.

Dr. Kohani finds that composite dental fillings are most suitable for all his patients. There are many benefits to composite dental fillings, one of which is its ability to match the color of your existing teeth. Composite, or tooth-colored fillings, are usually made from acrylic and glass in a powdered form and shaded to blend seamlessly with your dentition. As a result, your filling is hardly discernible.

According to the CDC, almost one-third of adults between the ages of 20 and 44 have untreated dental cavities that would likely require fillings if examined. Other studies suggest that the average American has had at least three dental fillings in their lifetime.

Cavities are common in American society and should not cause fear or concern as long as they are treated early.

After dental fillings, patients can drive home. A numbing agent is the only pain mitigation required of dental fillings.

You can prepare for dental fillings by eating a large breakfast, as you may not be able to eat immediately following your dental fillings. It is also important to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly before your treatment.

Everyone’s dental plans are unique. For an accurate breakdown of your dental coverage, you should discuss your benefit plan with your insurance provider prior to treatment to determine if (or to what extent) you are covered for dental fillings.

Proper oral hygiene and oral maintenance is key to preventing the formation of cavities. This means proper brushing and flossing routines and routine checkups with your dentist. Most dental visits will include a dental cleaning, which helps eliminate the oral bacteria that lead to decay.