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Dental Fillings in Escondido

Treat Decayed Teeth With Dental Fillings

At the office of Dr. Douglas G. Hope, we can help you get the care you need for a cavity in Escondido. If you think you may have a decayed tooth, getting a filling right away can save you time and money, and prevent further complications like a tooth infection. Read on to learn more about dental fillings at our office, or contact us now to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hope.

High-Quality Composite Fillings In Escondido

At our office, we specialize in metal-free dentistry, which is why we only use composite fillings at our office. Composite fillings are made of a combination of crushed glass and dental resin. They match your existing tooth structure perfectly, providing you with a more pleasing appearance. In contrast, metal-amalgam fillings have a silver-gray color that can discolor your smile. 

Composite fillings have a few other advantages, too. They bond more tightly to your tooth, and require the removal of less enamel while during the tooth preparation process. This strengthens your tooth, and provides better overall results. To learn more about the benefits of composite fillings, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hope today.

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The Dental Filling Process

Wondering what to expect from the dental filling process at the office of Dr. Douglas G. Hope? First, your mouth will be cleaned and numbed to prepare for the filling procedure. You can also be sedated if you’d like to remain more comfortable throughout the process.

Once your mouth is numb, Dr. Hope will prepare your tooth. He will use a dental drill to gently remove any decayed or damaged tooth material. Then, he will clean and disinfect the tooth to prepare for the placement of your filling.

After your tooth has been prepared, Dr. Hope will pick out a composite filling material that will match the color of your existing teeth perfectly, providing you with a seamless result. The filling material will be applied directly to the tooth, then shaped to restore the tooth structure.

Once the overall shape of the filling is right, Dr. Hope will harden it using UV light, and trim it with a dental drill to refine its shape further. He will also test your bite to ensure the filling fits properly. When the fit is perfect, he will finish the procedure by buffing and polishing your filled tooth.

The entire process usually takes less than an hour at our office, so you can schedule a convenient appointment at the office of Dr. Douglas G. Hope, and immediately get back to your day-to-day routine after treatment.

Caring For A New Filling

You can treat your filling just like a natural part of your tooth. There is no extensive recovery period or special care required for a filling. Brush twice a day and floss once a day, and don’t forget to see Dr. Hope every six months for preventive care, such as a teeth cleaning and oral exam.

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Do Dental Fillings Hurt?

No. Dental fillings are a minimally-invasive treatment. Only a little bit of your tooth enamel has to be removed with a dental drill, and Dr. Hope will use an anesthetic spray and numbing injections to completely numb the area below your tooth during your filling procedure.

Once your procedure is over, your tooth may feel a little bit tender and sensitive, but this is normal. It may feel sensitive to heat and cold or the pressure of chewing for a few weeks. If your discomfort persists or seems to get worse, though, contact Dr. Hope for a follow-up to resolve the issue.

Serious dental pain

How Long Does a Filling Last?

At the office of Dr. Douglas G. Hope, we specialize in metal-free dentistry, so we exclusively use composite fillings. These fillings are durable and made from a blend of glass powder and tooth-colored dental resin. They usually last somewhere between 5-8 years, but a lifespan of up to 10+ years is common if you take good care of your filling and your teeth.

To maximize the lifespan of your filling, all you have to do is brush and floss properly. Good oral hygiene helps stop further tooth decay around your filling, which is a common cause of premature filling failure. It also keeps your teeth healthy, and helps you avoid gingivitis and cavities in your other teeth.

Beyond proper at-home oral hygiene, the only other step you’ll need to take to care for your new filling is to see Dr. Hope for an appointment every six months. He’ll check your natural teeth and your dental work to make sure everything looks good. This gives you peace of mind.

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What Happens If I Don’t Treat a Cavity?

Even if you try your best to keep your tooth healthy, your condition will continue to get worse if you don’t get help. Your cavity will get bigger and deeper, and may require treatment with a dental crown if it’s too large to fill with a dental filling. That’s a more expensive, complex treatment.

And if you don’t get a crown, it’s likely that the cavity will continue to eat through your tooth and will eventually reach the delicate pulp inside your tooth. Then, oral bacteria will infect the pulp, which is filled with the blood vessels and nerves that keep your tooth alive. The pulp will start to decay and die, causing a lot of pain and discomfort. If you don’t get a root canal to save your tooth, it will need to be pulled and replaced after it dies.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can go without a filling for a cavity. Even if you take great care of your smile, your cavity may still get worse. That’s because the hole in your tooth will tend to collect bacteria and food debris. In turn, this will cause more acid to build up within the cavity, causing it to become deeper and larger.

It’s nearly impossible to stop a cavity from getting worse once it has formed. The best option is to get a filling as soon as your dentist identifies your cavity. So if you have a sensitive tooth and think that you might have a cavity, contact the office of Dr. Douglas G. Hope for an appointment right away.

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