The Latest in Dental Fillings for Redlands, CA
Have a toothache and think you might need dental filling? No worries — dealing with cavities has been pain-free for decades, and our relaxed no rush office helps you feel a bit more comfortable. We make it a pain-free experience, so don’t delay your treatment. Cavities only get worse, never better. If you are in Redlands, Yucaipa, Highland, or Loma Linda you are just minutes away. Whether you are concerned about mercury or simply want a natural tooth appearance we excel in composite filling placements. With composite fillings, we can close a space or we can make a variety of aesthetic improvements.
A Word About Cavities and Tooth Decay
Your tooth structure is composed of several layers. The outermost layer of enamel is very strong and mineralized to protect the dentin layer underneath. The innermost layer is the pulp, which consists of nerves and blood vessels. A cavity occurs when the enamel is demineralized by the acids produced by bacteria and the dentin consequently becomes damaged. You may only feel pain after the damage extends into the pulp, by then you will need a root canal to remove the infected nerve.
Early detection with routine exams minimizes problems and thereby prevents toothaches and root canals. X-rays provides us images inside the teeth, as well as of the tight spaces between teeth where tooth decay occurs most often. At Dr. Wang’s office in Redlands we use the latest digital x-ray technology to provide computer-enhanced hi-res pictures with far, far less exposure than was needed for film x-rays.
The procedure for dental fillings consists simply of removing the decayed areas then filling the void to protect the tooth as well as to restore normal shape and function. You may experience some sensitivity to cold foods and drinks after the procedure. This is the most common side effect but usually gets better with time.
Types of Fillings
Many years ago silver dental amalgam fillings were the standard, and most practices didn’t even offer alternatives. Those tables are now turned, so let’s discuss what options are available as a filling material.
Silver dental amalgam fillings are an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin, and sometimes zinc. They have the unique property that they can be packed into an opening cleaned of decay then become solid and durable.
In recent years many people have become concerned about the possibility of mercury poisoning. Numerous studies have shown that the mercury remains tightly bound in the alloy, but Dr. Wang is happy to provide her patients with alternatives. A dental amalgam filling is less expensive, but does have the disadvantage of being far more noticeable than other filling materials.
The use of gold goes back literally for ages, with the first known usage dating back some 6,000 years! Today they are custom made in an outside lab then cemented in place at our office. They are especially well tolerated by gum tissue but are more expensive and noticeable, and require two office visits.
Also called inlays or onlays depending on the surfaces involved, they are also made in a lab and then bonded to your tooth. By matching your natural tooth color they go completely unnoticed and requires two office visits.
Composite resin fillings, a combination of resin and filler, are matched to your natural tooth shade so they are essentially unnoticeable. As with other types, treatment begins with removing decay and preparing the tooth under a local anesthetic. We will sculpt the composite resin in place layer by layer then harden it with a high intensity LED light. It is all done in a single visit. Composite fillings provide a great appearance at a reasonable cost, and can also be used to restore chipped, broken, or fractured teeth. This is the most common type of fillings done today!
Dr. Michelle Wang’s Redlands Dental Practice
Dental fillings for tooth decay are no longer “one size fits all.” With Dr. Wang’s personalized care we will sit down together and discuss the pros and cons of your options and reach a decision together. Most importantly, we will take the time to go over the oral care steps you need to take to prevent future tooth decay.
Dr. Wang practices family dentistry, with expertise in preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. Located in downtown Redlands, the office is just 5 to 15 minutes or so from Loma Linda, Highland, and Yucaipa.