Fillings

Dental fillings

When you get cavities or experience tooth decay, your teeth become hollow and brittle. Dental fillings help preserve the structural integrity of your teeth. When your teeth are strong, they are better able to support the strain experienced when talking or chewing, ensuring no oral problems are caused.

Visit James Fitzgerald Dental in Brisbane, CA, for dental fillings treatment. We serve patients across San Francisco as well.

What are dental fillings?

Dental fillings are artificial materials that are used to fill in the hollowness within the teeth. They restore shape and structure to your teeth, reducing their vulnerability to breakage and fracture.

Fillings also make the teeth more stable, ensuring they remain fixed to your gums and don’t become loose. They are really helpful in repairing damaged teeth in the event of:

  • Teeth chipping
  • Teeth decay and cavity formation
  • Teeth wearing due to grinding

Types of dental fillings we offer at James Fitzgerald Dental

Dental fillings are always made of bio-friendly materials. They don’t react negatively to anything you eat or drink, ensuring they are perfectly safe for you to use. At James Fitzgerald Dental, you can choose any of the following filling materials when you come in for treatment:

Composite resin

Resin is one of the most budget-friendly fillings available, but it is a delicate material and can wear out easily. This is better used if you need temporary fillings until your permanent ones are ready.

Porcelain

Porcelain fillings are an alternative to composite resin fillings. They resemble natural teeth and can make your teeth look completely authentic, but they have a shorter lifespan compared to metal fillings.

Dental filling process

The process starts with a consultation, where our dentists take pictures of your mouth and jaw, using panoramic X-rays and 3D X-rays. We identify the teeth where fillings are needed. You are then asked to choose a filling material. If you’re not sure which filling is right for you, we can advise you based on your dental requirements and your insurance coverage.

On the day of the treatment, our dental surgeons start the dental fillings procedure by administering local anesthesia to numb the treatment site. We use the cutting-edge BIOLASE water laser to prepare your teeth for the fillings.

Conventional dental drills can lead to the cutting of large, healthy sections of the affected tooth, which ultimately can impact the long-term health of your teeth. The BIOLASE water laser, on the other hand, is powered by precision technology and allows our dentists to remove only the pre-identified sections of the teeth, to make space for the fillings. The laser is very gentle and produces very little debris ensuring no tooth fragments remain stuck below the filling and no microfractures are caused.

Any bacterial infection or decay in the teeth is cleared up. Once your teeth are prepared, we fill it with the filling of your choice. We then polish-off the excess filling and create a natural-looking finish. If needed, we expose your tooth to a special light, which hardens the material quickly.

After the treatment, your teeth may feel slightly sensitive to pain, but this should subside soon. It’s best if you avoid doing any activity that results in grinding your teeth as this can damage your filling. Don’t eat any hard foods for a few days as well. After that, limit your consumption of hard foods so that your fillings stay for a longer duration.

Safe treatment for kids too

Dental fillings are a great option for young children who have experienced severe dental trauma and who are in immense pain. We use specially formulated fillings made from glass ionomer cement or zinc oxide eugenol, to fill in cavities and chipping in pediatric teeth. These fillings slowly release fluoride into the teeth, keeping bacterial infection at bay. These fillings can be directly applied to your child’s tooth, resulting in no requirement for laser or tooth drilling.

When should you get your dental fillings replaced?

Composite resin, porcelain, and glass ionomer cement fillings last for 5 to 7 years. Metal fillings can last for up to two decades if you maintain good oral hygiene and a healthy diet. You need to get your fillings replaced if you see they are worn out or loose. Our dentists will be able to help.