Do You Need A Dental Filling? Here's What To Expect, Types, And More!

If you have a decayed tooth in San Diego, you may need a filling from one of the dentists at Rio Vista Family Dentistry. Not sure what to expect? In this blog post, we’ll discuss different types of fillings, the filling process, and everything else you need to know. Let’s get started.

What Types Of Dental Fillings Are Available?

Let’s start by talking about the available types of dental fillings. Primarily, modern dental offices offer two different types of fillings.

  • Composite fillings – This type of filling is made of dental resin and crushed glass, and is intended to look and feel just like a natural part of your tooth. Because composite fillings have a very natural appearance, they are the preferred choice for restoring teeth at most dental offices, particularly front teeth.
  • Metal amalgam fillings – Metal amalgam has been used for decades. It’s very durable and strong, and consists of a blend of tin, silver, mercury, and copper. However, it has a silver-gray appearance and can discolor the treated tooth.

Gold fillings and porcelain fillings are also available, but these are not considered “fillings,” but “inlays and onlays.” This is because gold and porcelain inlays and onlays are an “indirect restoration,” and must be placed across two appointments. However, they may be a better option in some circumstances.

What Can I Expect From The Procedure?

The filling process is quick and easy, and often takes less than an hour. First, your dentist at Rio Vista Family Dentistry will clean and numb your mouth. Then, they will begin the process by removing any decayed or damaged enamel with a dental drill, in order to prepare for the placement of the filling.

Once your tooth has been prepared, your dentist will begin applying the filling material to your tooth. As it’s applied, the material will be hardened and sculpted to fit into the cavity. Once the entire cavity has been filled with the filling material, the tooth will be shaped and trimmed with a dental drill to restore its shape, and ensure that your bite is healthy and unaffected by the filling.

After the final trimming and bite check, your dentist will polish and buff your newly-restored tooth, and then your procedure is complete. There’s no lengthy recovery process, so you can get back to work or your day-to-day routine right away. 

How Long Do Fillings Last?

Fillings usually last at least 7-10 years, and it’s not uncommon for some fillings to last up to 20 years. Mostly, the lifespan of a filling depends on the material used to restore your tooth, as well as how well you care for your mouth and maintain your oral hygiene.

How Do I Take Care Of My Fillings?

All you need to do to take care of your filling is brush twice a day for two minutes and floss once per day. You should also see your dentist at Rio Vista Family Dentistry for a teeth cleaning and oral exam every six months to ensure that your smile is healthy.

Need A Filling In San Diego? Contact Us Today! 

At Rio Vista Family Dentistry, our team is here to help you get the dental care you need in San Diego. So don’t wait. If you think you need a filling, contact us online or give us a call at (619) 299-1122 to get the care you need right away from Dr. Reyes, Dr. Campillo, or Dr. Lockwood.

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Modern Dental Care

Your Local Mission Valley Dentist


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8590 Rio San Diego Drive
Suite 110
San Diego, CA 92108