What Are Dental Fillings Used For?

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Dental fillings, whether direct or indirect, involve removing some tooth structure and replacing it with a filling material. Most people are familiar with the use of fillings for cavities, but fillings also are used for teeth that have been cracked or worn down. Below is a look at how fillings are used in these cases.

Fillings for Cavities

When a tooth has a cavity, the decayed area must be removed completely to prevent the decay from spreading after treatment. Removal of tooth structure is also done to ensure a durable, long-lasting result. Even decay along the gum line can usually be drilled and filled.

Fillings for Cracked or Worn Teeth

Teeth that have cracks or wear, such as from teeth grinding, may require fillings for cosmetic purposes, to prevent sensitivity, or to block decay from developing. A variable amount of tooth structure may be removed to make way for the filling material.

Metal fillings are still common, but tooth-colored fillings are now more often chosen for their cosmetic benefits and lack of mercury. With proper care, fillings can last for more than a decade. You can contact our San Francisco dentist to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we use dental fillings.

What Are Dental Fillings Used For?

Purpose of General Dentistry

Doctor with patient in clinic consulting

Many procedures and services fall into the category of general dentistry. With this care, patients have a lower risk of suffering dental problems and can receive restorative and cosmetic restoration of existing issues. Here is a closer look at each of these areas within general dentistry.

Preventive Care

Several general dental procedures help prevent oral health problems. Routine cleanings, for example, clear more plaque and tartar from the teeth than home cleaning can. Fluoride and sealants also help keep the teeth healthy.

Dental Restoration

If teeth are decayed or damaged in another way, restorative treatments can be used to repair them. Fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns are examples of these treatments. Functionality is preserved and complications are prevented in the process.

Cosmetic Improvement

Some general dental procedures also make teeth look better. Several restorations, such as fillings, are available in tooth-colored form. This can hide any aesthetic effects of dental problems and preserve a natural appearance afterwards.

Patients can benefit from general dental care in terms of their oral health and appearance. Before or after dental problems occur, our dentist can provide these and other procedures as patients need them. Patients can contact our San Francisco cosmetic dentist to learn more about these procedures and what they offer.

Purpose of General Dentistry

How Does AcceleDent Work?

young woman in front of familyThe length of your orthodontic treatments depends on several factors. The main contributors are the severity of the case and the type of appliance used. Severely crooked, rotated, and maloccluded teeth will take longer to correct than mild cases. Braces, while typically the most effective, often take longer than some more modern options. Acceledent is a way to speed up the orthodontic process for many patients.

Acceledent is an FDA approved device that uses pulsing vibrations to increase the speed of tooth movement. A mouthpiece is worn for only twenty minutes a day. It effectively and painlessly loosens the tissues in the mouth and jaw, allowing the teeth to be moved more easily. The force from your appliance is therefore enhanced greatly, often as much as fifty percent. This means that patients who would originally require a year of treatment before their teeth set in correct, healthy positions now only need about six months before seeing results.

Nobody wants a lengthy orthodontic experience, and AcceleDent is perfect for those who wish to show off a fantastic new smile at an upcoming event, such as a graduation, wedding, or reunion. This device can be used with virtually any time of orthodontic appliance. Check to see if your San Francisco cosmetic dentist offers this useful treatment.

How Does AcceleDent Work?

What are the Benefits of Same Day Dentistry?

Happy patient

Our dentists and staff are aware of how inconvenient dental appointments are. Often patients must leave work, miss school, and call off plans in order to attend check-ups or have their teeth restored. This is why Same Day Dentistry is so appreciated by many. Patients no longer have to alter their schedules to attend more than one dental appointment within a short period of time.

Same Day Dentistry is done with the help of CEREC CAD/CAM technology. In the past, patients who needed restorations, such as indirect fillings and crowns, would have to come to our office to take impressions of the tooth and prepare it, if necessary. This information would be sent to a lab for the restoration to be made. A temporary restoration would then be placed, and removed at another appointment after the completed crown or filling installed. This process is shortened with Same Day technology.

With a milling machine, such restorations can be made in our office. Patients no longer have to attend multiple appointments weeks apart to restore a tooth. They can now wait in our office for what they need to be made, effectively turning multiple appointments to our San Francisco dentist into one.

Check to see if your dentist is an expert in same day dentistry in San Francisco to make any future restorative appointments as convenient as possible.

What are the Benefits of Same Day Dentistry?

Caring for Teeth after Whitening

Young woman touching her face isolated on white background.

The results of professional teeth whitening can last for months or longer, but keeping your smile pristine afterwards calls for taking certain steps at home. Additional care may also be beneficial if you have sensitive teeth afterwards. Here are some ways to care for your smile after you have your teeth whitened by our San Francisco cosmetic dentist.

How to Avoid Stains

Some lifestyle factors are notorious for causing stained teeth. Among staining foods and beverages, the worst include wine, chocolate, berries, coffee, and soda. Tobacco, whether smoked or chewed, can quickly turn your whitened smile a yellow-gray color. If you do encounter these staining factors, rinsing with water and brushing 20 minutes afterwards may help reduce discoloration.

“Just make sure if you have some acidic foods, you don’t brush your teeth for at least 20 minutes to let saliva buffer the acid, or you would cause damage to you enamel.”, says our dentist.

“Research shows the highest amount of tooth wear is when acid and abrasion (tooth wear from brushing) are combined together. It’s ok to rinse your mouth after having something acidic but don’t brush right away.”

How to Resolve Teeth Sensitivity

Fluoride is often effective at eliminating teeth sensitivity. Each day, brush your teeth gently using a fluoride toothpaste. If necessary, you can also ask our dentist about special gel products containing higher concentrations of fluoride for direct application to teeth.

Store-bought teeth whiteners, such as toothpastes and strips, can also be used to help preserve your new look. However, particularly with abrasive-based products, you should avoid frequent use, as teeth sensitivity or visible enamel loss could result. You can schedule a consultation with our expert in teeth whitening in San Francisco to find out more about post-whitening care.

Caring for Teeth after Whitening

Symptoms of TMJ and Its Treatments

Aggressive Seniorin

TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint, is what connects the jaw to the skull. Studies estimate that over ten million Americans are affected by temporomandibular joint disorder, which can cause a series of symptoms, including severe pain.  Fortunately, there are doctors and dentists that specialize in TMJD, (such as our dentist in San Francisco) who emphasize the importance of knowing the causes, symptoms, and possible treatments.

TMJD can be caused by:

  • Teeth or jaw injury
  • Misalignment
  • Grinding the teeth
  • Poor posture
  • Stress
  • Arthritis
  • And gum chewing, among other triggers

The disorder can lead to mild to severe jaw pain, clicking of the jaw joint, ear pain, popping sounds in the ears, headaches, stiff or sore jaw muscles, pain in the temple, and jaw lock. These can result in serious discomfort, constant pain, and an inability to eat properly.

Treatments for TMJD range from simple to invasive tactics. Those who suffer from the disorder can employ several remedies at home, such as applying ice packs, using anti-inflammatory medications, and gently messaging the area. Eliminating sources of stress can also have a considerable positive effect. An expert in TMJ in San Francisco may be able to prescribe dental splints, medications, physical therapy, or even Botox. In serious cases, surgery may be required.

Symptoms of TMJ and Its Treatments

Different Types of Braces

dental braces

A full selection of orthodontic treatments are now available by our San Francisco dentist. In addition to offering all the classic benefits of teeth straightening, many of these options also give patients enhanced comfort and aesthetics during treatment. Here is a look at several different choices.

Traditional braces, which use metal brackets and wires, are highly visible but also more versatile and affordable. Damon braces are similar in structure, but their brackets are smaller and made of ceramic that can match your tooth color. Furthermore, the Damon system offers self-ligating braces, which work more quickly and comfortably than classic metal braces. Clear braces, such as Invisalign aligners, are the most discreet option but also have some limitations based on the types of bite irregularities involved. AcceleDent is an accessory for various types of braces that speeds treatment through regular vibration of the teeth and their roots.

After braces, patients not only have a lower risk of tooth decay and gum disease, but also improved chewing ability and a decreased chance of tooth loss. As a result, patients may enjoy lower dental treatment costs and better health overall. Patients can schedule a consultation with our expert in braces in San Francisco to learn more about orthodontic treatment options.

Different Types of Braces