Restore Decayed Teeth
with dental fillings
If you have a cavity in Long Beach, Dr. Dustin Dodds and Dr. Emily Dodds are here to help. At Dodds Dental, we can restore your smile and your bite with a dental filling, and prevent further complications related to tooth decay. Learn more about composite dental fillings below, or contact us now to schedule a consultation.
Understanding the basics
What is a dental filling?
Dental fillings are the simplest method of restoring a tooth that’s been affected by tooth decay. The process is simple. Dr. Emily or Dr. Dustin Dodds will clean your mouth, numb the treatment area, then remove the decayed enamel using a dental drill.
Once your tooth is clean and free of decayed tooth material, a composite resin will be applied to the cavity layer-by-layer, and hardened with a UV light. This material matches the color and appearance of your tooth perfectly. Once the overall shape is right, the filling will be trimmed and your bite will be checked to make sure it fits perfectly.
Fillings are the best way to treat minor-to-moderate cavities. With timely treatment, you can eliminate pain and discomfort, prevent complications like tooth infections, and save time and money by avoiding the need for more complex, invasive, and expensive treatments like root canal therapy and dental crowns.
Not sure if you need a filling from Dodds Dental? If you have a tooth that feels sensitive when you chew or consume hot/cold foods and beverages, are experiencing random tooth pain, or notice dark spots on one or more of your teeth, you may have a cavity, and need a filling from our team. Contact us for an appointment right away.
Know What To Expect
Does getting a filling hurt?
Fillings do not hurt. Your mouth will be completely numb during the treatment process, and we even offer sedation dentistry if you are nervous about your procedure or have dental anxiety in Long Beach. Using the latest tools and minimally-invasive techniques, Dr. Dustin or Dr. Emily Dodds will ensure that you feel safe and comfortable throughout your entire appointment at our office.
expected treatment lifespan
how long do fillings last?
Depending on the type of filling you choose, the location of the filling, and how well you care for your smile after treatment, your filling could last anywhere between 7-20 years.
To keep your filling strong and ensure it lasts a long time, make sure that you brush and floss twice a day for two minutes, floss once per day, and see the team at Dodds Dental for a teeth cleaning and oral exam every six months.
Get the care you need
Contact Dodds Dental
At Dodds Dental, Dr. Emily and Dr. Dustin Dodds are always here to help you get the dental care you need in Long Beach. If you suspect you have a cavity and need a filling, just call us at (562) 439-0754 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.
What Type Of Dental Fillings
Do You Use?
At our office, we use composite, tooth-colored dental fillings. These fillings do not contain any harmful mercury, and they bond tightly to your natural tooth. They also look and feel just like natural enamel, which improves the cosmetic appearance of your filling.
What Happens If My Filling
Cracks Or Breaks?
Fillings go through a lot of wear & tear as you chew and eat, so it’s not uncommon for fillings to crack, break, or come loose. Your filling may crack or break as it ages and becomes weaker, or it may break if you chew too hard or chew a non-food object, or clench and grind your teeth.
It’s also not uncommon for fillings to come loose or pull out of your mouth when you eat, especially if you’re eating really sticky foods like caramel, taffy, or gummy candy.
If your filling cracks, breaks, or becomes dislodged, the first thing you should do is contact Dodds Dental for an appointment with Dr. Dustin or Dr. Emily Dodds. Give us a call at (562) 439-0754 to talk about your situation, and find out if you need a same-day appointment.
The good news is that, most of the time, a cracked or broken filling is not extremely urgent. You can usually get it repaired within a day or two. In the meantime, you can go to a drugstore to buy some temporary dental cement. Follow the instructions on the box to apply it to your tooth and protect it until you can come in for your appointment at Dodds Dental.
Once it’s time for your appointment, Dr. Dustin or Dr. Emily will examine your mouth to make sure your tooth is still in good shape. Then, they’ll use dental tools to remove any remaining damaged filling material, and they’ll apply a new filling to the cavity to restore your tooth.
What Happens If I Don’t Get A Filling
For My Cavity?
If you don’t get a filling for your cavity, it will continue to get worse, even if you avoid eating sugar, brush and floss properly, and take other steps to protect your oral health. Once a cavity has formed, the only way to deal with it is to get a filling.
Why can’t you stop a cavity from getting worse? Because tooth decay creates deep holes or pits in your teeth. And these pits or holes tend to attract small food particles, as well as oral bacteria. The bacteria will feed on the food in the cavity, then excrete acid into the cavity, which will cause it to get larger and deeper.
It’s also very hard to properly clean inside a cavity. You simply won’t be able to remove all of the food particles and bacteria that are causing the decay. So if you don’t get a filling, your situation will get worse. The cavity will get bigger, and you may need a crown to restore the tooth, which is a more complicated and expensive procedure.
If you still don’t get help, the decay may progress until it reaches the inside of your tooth, and infects the pulp that supports your tooth and keeps it alive. This is known as a “tooth infection.” Over time, the pulp will decay and your tooth will die. You may be able to save your tooth with root canal therapy. If this is not possible, your tooth will have to be extracted instead.