What Is A Tooth-Colored Filling?
Cavities are one of the most common dental problems, and they develop when bacteria erode your dental enamel. Previously, dental cavities were filled with an amalgam material, a mixture of metals, like mercury or silver. After years of research, we now know that metal fillings do not adhere very well with tooth enamel, and the mercury can be dangerous to your health. At Dougherty Dental in La Jolla, CA, cosmetic dentist Dr. Paul Dougherty uses tooth-colored fillings (also called white fillings or composite fillings), which are made with composite resin to fill cavities and protect the integrity of the tooth. Dr. Dougherty can also take out metal fillings and apply composite resin fillings for a more reliable and attractive cavity repair.
"You will get 1st Class welcoming and 1st class treatment at Dougherty Dental. It will all be done right...the 1st time. You won't be disappointed."- J.F. / Google / Feb 26, 2020
"I love this dentist. They ushered my son and I in with no waiting, had all of his charts and x-rays pulled up from our last dentist and gave us sound and excellent advice. The doctor was kind and efficient. His staff is awesome."- T.S. / Google / Nov 19, 2020
"I love visiting Dr. Dougherty and his team. Dr. Dougherty uses advanced technology to educate me on my teeth so I always feel confident in moving forward with his recommendations. He is also very conservative in his treatment, which I appreciate. I trust him completely! Andrea, his assistant, always makes me feel comfortable and gives me neck pillow! Glad I found a dentist and team in La Jolla that I like."- K.W. / Google / Nov 12, 2020
"My family and I love Doughtery Dental. From the moment we went there we felt welcomed like part of the family. It is clear how Dr. Doughtery and his team care about their patients and each other and are experts. They are highly professional, personable and operate at the highest level of integrity and clearly passionate about what they do. My kind of dentist and office. Thank you Dr. Doughtery and Team for creating an office, team and experience that actually inspires us to look forward to going to the dentist again. 🌞💛🌟🏵"- M.M. / Google / Nov 10, 2020
"Dr Dougherty and his entire team are awesome Professional, kind, respectful, and helpful.Highly recommend them. Dental hygienist Heidi is so personable and positive. Rosie always helpful with my bill and insurance. Dr Paul supports other local businesses. This team is the best!!!"- J.C. / Yelp / Nov 07, 2020
Should I Get a Composite Filling?
The composite resin in tooth-colored fillings will seal any areas of decay in the tooth once it is cleaned by Dr. Dougherty. Composite resin is a versatile material that can be used to address other issues with your teeth as well, such as cracks or wear on the enamel caused by bruxism (teeth grinding). Since the composite resin is tinted to match your natural teeth, tooth-colored fillings can be used on both the back and front teeth for an undetectable result. If you currently have traditional metal fillings, talk to Dr. Dougherty about having them removed and replaced with tooth-colored composite fillings.
What To Expect With A White Filling
Receiving a filling with composite resin at Dougherty Dental is usually a quick process. The treatment area will be numbed to minimize your discomfort. Stronger forms of sedation may be discussed if you have dental anxiety to help keep you relaxed. Once you are ready, the affected enamel will be cleared away using a unique dental drill that Dr. Dougherty will choose based upon where the cavity is located in the tooth and the amount of decay that is present. After the enamel is removed and the area is disinfected, the area will be filled with the composite material and hardened. Dr. Dougherty will smooth the white filling material so it matches your other teeth.
Recovery After A Composite Filling
You should be able to return to your normal day after your filling is done, but you might have some sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures for 1 – 3 days afterward. You may use over-the-counter pain medication to treat any discomfort; however, dental fillings are extremely common so severe symptoms are rare. If your filling seems too high or uneven, please contact our office. Your filling can be kept clean by following a normal oral care routine at home, including daily brushing and flossing. During your annual dental exam, Dr. Dougherty will assess your filling to determine if it should be replaced or repaired.
Is a Composite Filling Covered By Insurance?
Composite resin fillings are a common treatment for dental cavities so they are typically covered at least partially by dental insurance. A member of our administrative team will talk to your dental insurance company to understand your coverage so we can calculate your out-of-pocket costs. If you don't have dental insurance, Dr. Dougherty will go over the payment methods we accept at your consultation, as well as medical financing options.
Plan Your Procedure
Cavities in the teeth may start as a small issue, but it is important to have them treated before they become a big issue. At Dougherty Dental in La Jolla, CA, small areas of tooth decay may be treated with tooth-colored fillings. Dr. Dougherty makes sure to match the shade of your teeth so you can have a healthy, beautiful smile. If you suspect you or your child has a cavity, contact our office to schedule an exam with Dr. Dougherty.