Dental fillings are extremely common. Most people will have at least one in their lifetime. These fillings are not merely used for cavities; they can also repair cracked teeth or teeth that have been worn down over the years. Dr. Alan Howard and Dr. Yonatan Howard are at your service to provide the residences of Encino and the greater Los Angeles area with a beautiful and functional smile.

What is a Filling?

At The Dental Office of Encino, we offer different fillings to treat cavities and chipped or cracked teeth. The purpose of a dental filling is to restore a tooth or teeth back to their normal function, as well as reshape them after decay has caused damaging effects. The decayed portion of the tooth is removed using a drill, laser, or air abrasion instrument. The area is then cleaned of bacteria and debris and appropriately filled. We shape the filling to fit the tooth’s natural contour and bite, and the filling is then hardened for lasting restoration. An additional benefit of fillings is, when closing off any openings on the tooth, it prevents bacteria from entering and any further decay from occurring in the future.

We encourage men, women, and children who have any tooth concerns to contact our office to meet with one of our dentists, Dr. Howard or Dr. Howard. There is no need to live with oral discomfort; we are here to help!

Types of Fillings

When choosing a type of dental filler that will be best for you, there are few different factors to consider. Patients normally look at the cost, color, length of wear, and overall comfort. Our office offers two types of filling to choose from, an amalgam filling or a composite filling. It is our job here at The Dental Office of Encino to assist our patients in choosing a filling that will be best suited for them and their price point!

Amalgam Filling

Amalgam fillings, or silver fillings, are made from a combination of metals including mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Amalgam fillings have been used for over 100 years because they are long-lasting and relatively inexpensive. However, these types of fillings are more so used on teeth that are farther back and less noticeable as they are much darker in color and do not match the color of the patient’s teeth, unlike composite and porcelain fillings.

Composite Filling

Composite fillings, or tooth-colored fillings, are made of composite resin. Composite fillings take longer to place than amalgam fillings because composite fillings require that the tooth remain clean and dry during the process. However, these kinds of restorations are durable and natural-looking. These particular fillings will be matched to the patient’s exact tooth color in order to obtain a natural-looking, healthy smile free of imperfections. Patients often prefer to have fillings that match their current tooth color; however, it is important to consider that these fillings last about 3 to 10 years and may become stained with the use of tobacco or the excessive drinking of tea or coffee.

Both types of fillings provide the corrective results that patients look for when considering a dental filling; however, there are other factors that may take some consideration before making any decisions. The dentist will offer their expert advice as to which type of filling will best provide the patient with their desired result. This will also be based on oral health and anatomy. In order to find out more about the dental filler options and which one will be the better fit for the patient’s particular wants and needs, patients are encouraged to contact our office today and speak with our helpful staff who can assist in setting up an appointment.

Do I Need a Dental Filling?

Many patients are unaware that the pain in their mouth often stems from a decaying tooth and, if not treated, can lead to more pain and extensive dental procedures. People of all ages can receive dental fillings, ultimately helping to restore tooth function and health as well as prevent further damage. Often times we do not even realize that the foods and beverages we consume lead to decay, which is why Dr. Howard and Dr. Howard are dedicated to not only helping to improve overall oral health in patients but also help educate them on how to avoid further dental issues. Regular dental visits are also important because cavities and cracked teeth are not always painful, so their discovery is often found during these visits.

If your tooth is decayed, damaged, or you have a cavity, Drs. Howard and Howard may recommend a dental filling in Encino, California. They will help you determine which type of filling will best fit your needs and lifestyle. We invite you to call The Dental Office of Encino today to learn more about dental fillings or to schedule an appointment. Even if you are not sure that you have any of the aforementioned conditions and you just want to be positive you have optimal oral health, contact our office.

Consultation

At the initial consultation, Dr. Alan Howard or Dr. Yonatan Howard will review the patient’s previous dental history and listen to their concerns or pain they are experiencing due to a specific tooth or teeth. Once the necessary information has been gathered, the dentist can begin the oral examination, looking at any areas of particular concerns, as well as ensuring that no other teeth are damaged or decaying. After finding the cavity filled or decaying tooth or teeth, the dentist will then be able to review the particular options at hand that will be of greatest benefit. The dentist will explain the potential courses of action, including the types of dental fillers that we offer and which one may be best suited for the particular issues.

During the consultation, the patient will be able to schedule their appointment for the filling procedure.

The treatment typically cannot be done on the same day, but is sometimes an option depending on the circumstances. X-rays are usually first required to create a treatment plan. If the treatment is scheduled for a future date, the patient will receive all of the information they will need prior to returning for the fillings. However, if the patient has any questions or concerns during this time, our helpful and knowledgeable staff is only one phone call away!

Dental Filling Procedure

Once back into the office, the dentist will administer a local anesthetic, usually through an injection or a topical gel, in order to numb the tooth, gums, and any surrounding skin throughout the treatment area. This will help to prevent any pain or discomfort from arising during the procedure. For the first part of the treatment, Dr. Howard will be removing the decay from the damaged tooth through the use of particular tools. These forms of drills and power hand pieces that will clean and suction the decay and other unwanted materials from the tooth and surrounding areas. During this time, the patient will feel no pain and the dentist will make sure to walk the patient through the procedure, step by step.

Next, the Dr. Howard will begin filling the damaged tooth and restore it back to its natural function. The type of dental filling being used is already pre-determined during the initial consultation with the dentist. Once the decay has been removed and the tooth has been prepped, it can then be filled. The dentist will need to fill the tooth and then work on ensuring that it fits properly and evenly with the surrounding teeth, making sure it is not filled too low or too high.
Lastly, he will smooth out any rough surfaces and provide a symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing look and feel to the patient’s tooth or teeth. They will ask if everything feels OK before you leave to make sure you are fully satisfied and have a comfortable bite.

Aftercare and Recovery

Once finished with the procedure, patients should expect the area to be numb for about 2 hours after leaving the office. However, because the fillings are solid and hard, patients can feel free to eat as soon as they would like.

Once the numbness has subsided, the tooth may be slightly sensitive, but this will decrease after a couple days at the most. It is recommended to continue with aftercare of the filling in the same manner that one would conduct normal oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and mouthwash to help remove all potentially damaging bacteria.

Results

Depending on the type of filling that the patient chooses, the times in which they last with differ. Our patients have been very pleased with their results and have seen great improvement in their oral health after working with The Dental Office of Encino. Patients leave our office with a new and improved long-lasting smile.

Cost

Depending on the filling type and the amount of fillings, cost will vary. An estimate can be provided during the consultation. Dental insurance often covers some of the cost; please bring this information with you.