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 Dr. Dougherty and have been seeing him for 20 years. I get chided by my Coronado friends since I've lived here 30 years..."Helen why do you drive up to LJ to go to a dentist?" That's just the thing Dr. Dougherty is not "a dentist" he is the BEST DENTIST and worth the trip!! Helen Walker"- G.B. / Google / Apr 07, 2021
"I saw Dr. Salazar at Dr. Dougherty's practice, and he was so great! Helping me through some bad dental work from another dentist, and he has been nothing but kind, empathetic, practical, and encouraging. Great dentist!"- J.S. / Google / Apr 02, 2021
"I can't say enough about this dental practice. It is truly stellar. I have been many times for many issues and they are fantastic. The staff works together like clockwork. They remember your name, they are always on time...I think they even have a morning meeting where they discuss the clients of the day because they always remember details about my history or experiences without me prompting them. Dr. Dougherty, in addition to being a phenomenal dentist, is kind and personable and reasonable. You can't go wrong here."- L.M. / Google / Mar 12, 2021
"Most through visit, exam and treatment plan! Exceeded expectations, so much that I’m moving adult kids and my senior mother to this office."- E.R. / Google / Mar 09, 2021
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.