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Dental Fillings Tustin and Santa Ana
Fillings are used to restore decayed teeth to optimal appearance and function. Fillings also prevent bacteria from getting into the tooth and causing further decay. The Tustin and Santa Ana fillings providers at LifeTime Smiles of OC offer amalgam, gold, porcelain and composite restorations. Placing fillings is a quick and straightforward process when performed by qualified general dentists like those on our team.
The Filling Procedure
One of our dentists first examines the tooth and determines what type of filling will work most effectively. Every patient is unique and considered on an individual basis. The choice of filling material depends on the extent and location of the decay or damage, and whether the patient is allergic or sensitive to a particular filling material. In some cases, cost may have to be considered during the selection process.
Options include the following:
- Gold fillings. These are created in a lab and then placed in the tooth. They are tolerated well by the gums and can last for two decades. While this is considered the best choice for dental fillings, it is also the most expensive.
- Amalgam fillings. Also referred to as silver fillings, they are inexpensive and very durable. The downside is that amalgam fillings are dark and not practical in visible teeth like the front teeth.
- Composite fillings. This type of filling is matched to natural tooth color; although it is aesthetically pleasing, it is also vulnerable to staining, wear and chipping. If they stain or discolor, they won’t respond to teeth whitening treatment. The average lifespan of composite dental fillings in Tustin and Santa Ana is three to 10 years.
- Porcelain fillings. Like gold fillings, these are constructed in a lab and then bonded to the tooth in the dentist’s office. A porcelain inlay will cover most of the tooth surface and will be resistant to staining and breakage.
Once the material has been chosen, the affected tooth is numbed and cleaned. All of the decayed tooth structure is removed, and the tooth is disinfected. The filling material is then placed into the remaining space. It is carefully shaped to help maintain the tooth’s normal contours and shape. After the numbing wears off, there may be some discomfort in the jaw and gum area around the affected tooth. This generally resolves quickly through the use of over-the-counter pain relievers.
In cases where the decay is more extensive and has affected a larger portion of the tooth, our team may recommend an alternative restoration such as a porcelain dental crown. If a tooth is in particularly bad shape and at risk of falling out, we may recommend extracting it and replacing it with a dental bridge or dental implant.
Santa Ana / Tustin Fillings
For more information about repairing a decayed or damaged tooth with a dental filling, LifeTime Smiles of OC invites you to call or email our office. We would be happy to schedule an appointment for you to meet with our team and discuss your tooth restoration options.