Fountain Valley Dental fillings

What Are Dental Fillings?

A dental filling is a restorative material used to replace missing tooth structure after drilling out tooth decay or after damaging a tooth from dental trauma. A biocompatible material is used to replace the missing tooth structure and blend in with the natural teeth. This restores the strength and functionality of the tooth so it doesn’t break under the pressure of chewing. 

By drilling out the tooth decay and bonding a material that replaces the missing tooth structure, we prevent the spread of tooth decay that can lead to infection and your tooth is restored to health and functionality. Contact us at Naman Zia Ebrahimi, DMD to schedule a consultation.

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Did you know…

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A filling can prevent the need for more invasive treatment.

Ready to schedule your appointment?

call (714) 957-1044 today!

What To Expect From the Dental Filling Process

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Dr. E will examine your tooth to assess any damage or decay. X-rays will reveal how far the decay has progressed and if you have an infection. This will let us know if a filling is suitable or if you will need a root canal.

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Removal of Decay

After numbing your mouth, a drill will be used to remove the decayed portion of the tooth. The amount that needs to be drilled depends on how big the cavity is.

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After roughening the tooth and applying an acidic solution, this will help the bonding agent stick to the tooth.

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Filling Application

Composite resin is molded and bonded to the tooth.

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Using UV light, we cure the filling so that it hardens upon exposure. After the filling is set, we can continue to trim and shape the filling.

Dental Filling Options

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Composite resin is a tooth-colored biocompatible filling material that hardens immediately when exposed to UV light. The advantage of composite fillings is that they’re much more aesthetically pleasing than traditional silver fillings. 

Patients would feel insecure in their smile when they would get amalgam fillings because their teeth would be noticeably darkened from the silver. Composite fillings are also mercury and metal-free which makes them a safe and suitable option for many different patients, including patients with metal allergies, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and young children. 

We can preserve more of the natural tooth structure thanks to the preparation method of composite fillings. This is optimal for preserving healthy teeth in the long term.

Digital X-Rays

Digital x-rays are fast, comfortable, and safe. High-resolution images help us make more accurate diagnoses while exposing you to a fraction of the radiation used by traditional film x-rays. Most patients will get one or two full sets of x-rays each year, but additional imaging may be recommended one if you have a potential issue or if you have experienced a dental emergency.

Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride treatments are easy to add to any routine preventive visit, and are great for helping keep dental decay at bay. After your cleaning, your dentist will apply a fluoride-rich varnish or gel to your teeth, and leave it in place for several minutes before rinsing it away. Fluoride helps to strengthen your enamel through a process called “remineralization,” which works by attracting minerals like calcium and phosphates to your teeth, helping to restore their hardness and increase their resistance to acids.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are most commonly recommended for children who may be high-risk for tooth decay, but they’re also a great option for patients of any age who wish to protect themselves from developing cavities. A relatively straight-forward procedure, dental sealants start with the application of dental resin, usually to the rear teeth, as they have more grooves and uneven surfaces where plaque and bacteria can easily hide. A UV light will be used to cure the resin, hardening it and creating a powerful barrier between your enamel and food debris, acid, or bacteria. When applied correctly, dental sealants can last for years!

Periodontal Care

Many patients struggle with gum disease, and if left untreated, can risk losing their teeth and other problems. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and is the only stage that can actually be reversed with deep cleanings and attentive at-home hygiene. If you have gum disease, keeping up with your regular cleanings and checkups will help you gain control over your oral health before it’s too late!

For patients with more advanced stages of periodontitis, we recommend scheduling deep cleanings at more frequent intervals, usually every three to four months. Although the effects of advanced gum disease can’t be reversed, deep cleanings, scaling, and root planing can halt the progression of periodontitis and help preserve your oral health.

Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer screenings are an important part of every preventive care visit. Catching oral cancer in its early stages allows us to stop it before it spreads, and can save your life. That’s why we’ll always check for signs of oral cancer at every preventive visit.

Your dentist will examine your oral tissues, like your gums and tongue, keeping an eye out for abnormalities like lesions, lumps, discolorations. If we find anything unusual, we’ll take a biopsy and send it out to a specialist for a thorough analysis. Although oral cancer isn’t overly common, it’s important to remain proactive and consistent with your oral healthcare routine, so we can identify any issues before they become major problems.

Night Guards

Teeth grinding and clenching while sleeping is a common issue faced by many patients. Night guards are a great solution for this unconscious clenching, also known as bruxism. Night guards form a soft barrier that protects your teeth from damage caused by the pressure of clenching and grinding. Your dentist will take an impression or a scan of your teeth and gums to create a unique mold that will be sent to a dental lab, where your night guard will be custom-crafted. Night guards work by easing the tension in your jaw, alleviating the painful headaches and other side effects of clenching and grinding, so you can get the sleep you need and keep your teeth from wearing down.

Sport Guards

Sports mouth guards are worn over the teeth, just like night guards. However sports guards are designed specifically to protect your smile from dental injuries that are so common when playing high-intensity impact sports. Custom-fitted sports guards can help protect athletes from oral trauma caused by collisions to the mouth, face, and head. If you play football, basketball, baseball, soccer, rugby, hockey, gymnastics, mountain biking, or other activities that put you at risk for injury due from falls, body contact, or flying objects, ask us about getting fitted for a custom sports guard today! Tailored to fit your unique smile, sports guards are comfortable, durable, and won’t stop you from playing the sports you love.

Did you know…

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You may experience temporary tooth sensitivity after getting a filling.

Interested In Dental Fillings?

Call (714) 957-1044 to book an appointment

Have Questions About Dental Fillings? Find Answers Here.

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Are Dental Fillings Painful?

No, dental fillings are virtually painless because the dentist administers a local anesthetic to numb the affected teeth and surrounding regions. However, you may feel movement and pressure when the dentist removes the decayed portions of the teeth and insert the filling material.

That said, your teeth will likely become sensitive and feel slight discomfort after getting your dental fillings. This is perfectly normal and will dissipate within a few days. Dr. E might also prescribe OTC painkillers to mitigate the pain until you recover completely.

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Is It Normal to Have a Lot of Cavities?

Yes, it’s normal to have a lot of cavities in your teeth. The bacteria that cause cavities are very prolific and quickly spread from one tooth to the next. The result is multiple teeth getting cavities.

You can avoid cavities by practicing proper oral hygiene and avoiding sugar and starchy foods. You should also schedule routine dental cleaning every six months to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth.

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Can You Eat After a Filling?

Yes, you can eat immediately after getting your dental filling. However, most dentists recommend waiting at least 24 hours before chewing with the side that contains the dental fillings.  You should also wait at least two hours before chewing anything since your teeth will still be numb. You may unknowingly bite your lips or cheeks while chewing.

It’s also worth noting that the gum tissue might feel sore after the procedure. This soreness can make eating difficult or decrease your appetite. You can wait until the soreness subsides to resume your usual feeding regimen.

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How Many Cavities Can Be Filled at Once?

Dentists can fill as many cavities as possible since there’s no limit to the number of teeth that can get fillings. It’s normal for cavity-causing bacteria to spread from one tooth to another, causing cavities.  This spread leads to many teeth getting cavities.

Dentists will examine your teeth to determine how many of them require dental fillings. However, most dentists advise against having more than three teeth with fillings at a time.

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How Often Do Dental Fillings Need to Be Replaced?

Dental fillings only last for three to ten years and eventually fail due to wear and tear and wearing out of the adhesive holding the filling to the tooth. Silver and amalgam fillings last longer and will give you about 15 years before you need to replace them.

That said, plenty of factors affect how long your dental fillings last. Your eating habits, for instance, determine how long your dental filling will last. Eating hard foods wears down your dental fillings and could break them.  Proper oral hygiene also helps keep cavities at bay. Cavities cause holes in the teeth, which loosens the dental filling.

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How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?

Composite fillings have an average lifespan of 5 to 7 years but it ultimately depends on your lifestyle, the location of the filling, and how well you care for them. Composite fillings last longer when placed in the front teeth because they don’t withstand as much degradation since chewing is performed in the back teeth. 

You should prevent wear and tear by wearing a mouthguard if you play sports or grind your teeth. Limit staining foods and drinks and avoid hard and sticky foods. Don’t use your teeth to open packages, as this can damage your fillings. Regularly brush and floss and attend dental cleanings to prevent new decay from forming.

Did you know…

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You should wait until the anesthetic has worn off before eating or consuming hot drinks.

Ready to schedule a visit?

Call (714) 957-1044 to book today