Glendale Office

9025 N 51st Ave
Glendale, AZ 85302
(623) 915-9700

Phoenix Office

16816 N 35th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85053
(602) 978 - 1932

Dental Fillings

woman laughing mouth wide openDr. Shahin Dabestani believes that all dentistry should look natural, whenever possible. Today, the most common restorative procedure, dental fillings, can be made with custom-shaded composite resin for a natural appearance. Since 1830, amalgam dental fillings have been used in the United States. These darkly colored restorations contain a mixture of metals including trace amounts of mercury, which is harmful to some people, according to the FDA. We offer natural looking, metal-free fillings with composite resin so that our patients can avoid any potential negative reaction to the mercury, while also enjoying a smile that’s white and vibrant, even after restorations.

If you have a toothache, failing filling, or would like to learn more about white, tooth-colored composite fillings, call Desert Palm Dentistry in Glendale at (623) 915-9700 or Phoenix (602) 978-1932 to schedule your appointment.

Symptoms of a Cavity

Pay attention to your body. Pain usually signals a problem that requires your attention. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call us to schedule an exam:

  • Toothache
  • Mouth pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Tooth sensitivity (to pressure or temperature)
  • Sharp pain when pressure is applied
  • White, brown, black or other unusual coloring on a tooth’s surface

In some cases, cavities cause no obvious symptoms. Dr. Dabestani may notice a small cavity during your six-month checkup and cleaning. These preventive visits are extremely important, because when we can find and treat cavities, or any dental issue, in the early stage, you’ll enjoy less invasive and costly treatment, and you’ll retain a greater amount of healthy, natural tissue.

The Procedure

Placing a dental filling takes mere minutes, in most cases. A surface cavity can often be filled without administering anesthesia, and without compromising patient comfort. When decay extends through enamel and penetrates the soft layer of dentin beneath, a toothache may occur. In this phase of decay, anesthetic is usually required to keep the patient comfortable while the tooth is filled.

To fill a tooth, Dr. Dabestani will remove dead tissue (decay) and bacteria from the tooth, then sanitize the cavity. He’ll insert a dab of custom-tinted composite resin, in liquid form. Once the resin is in place, a soft light will cure, or harden, the filling. The doctor will then shape the restoration to fit well with opposing teeth, ensuring proper occlusion. After the doctor polishes your new filling, you’ll be all set to proceed with your daily activities.

Should decay penetrate beyond the tooth’s dentin into the pulp in the inner chamber, a dental filling will not provide effective treatment. When bacteria infiltrate a tooth’s root canal(s), root canal therapy is required to re-establish good oral health and save the infected tooth from extraction.

If tooth decay has not reached the pulp, but the cavity is very large, a filling will not provide enough structural support to properly restore the affected tooth. In this situation. Dr. Dabestani will usually suggest a dental crown. Made in a dental lab, a crown covers all sides of a tooth above the gum line.

If you have a toothache, failing filling, or would like to learn more about white, tooth-colored composite fillings, call Desert Palm Dentistry in Glendale at (623) 915-9700 or Phoenix (602) 978-1932 to schedule your appointment.

Why Fillings are Necessary

man laughing mouth wide openYour mouth houses over 600 different types of bacteria, and your teeth endure intense pressure when biting and chewing food. Add to this extreme environment the acute temperature fluctuations between hot soup and ice cream, and you can see why tooth enamel is the hardest substance our bodies create. To survive, teeth must be extremely strong. However, teeth are not impenetrable.

Inside the dark cave that is your mouth, chemistry is constantly making changes. When you consume starches – including sugar – you feed not only your body, but also your oral bacteria. As bacteria eat starches, they produce an acid which saps tooth enamel of essential minerals. Weakened by a lack of calcium and phosphorus, enamel becomes the target of bad bacteria. This is when cavities form.

Bacteria eat softened tooth enamel and leave decay in their wake.

Unlike skin and bones, teeth do not heal naturally. A cavity requires professional treatment by a dentist. Otherwise, it will grow and spread. This could result in decay on surrounding teeth, deep decay that actually kills the tooth’s nerve, abscesses, or even blood borne infection that compromises overall health. The earlier decay is found and treated with a dental filling, the less damage will occur.

About Tooth Decay

Three factors contribute to decay. The absence of any of these make dental caries impossible. You must have a natural tooth, the bacteria S. mutans, and starches to feed the bacteria.

We are not born with S. mutans in our mouths. Scientists have determined that babies acquire the bacteria from their parents or caregivers during infancy, and they stay in the mouth until teeth erupt. Once S. mutans are present, they remain throughout life.

Perhaps you’ve heard the term dental caries. Tooth decay, cavities, and dental caries all mean the same thing: a decayed portion of a tooth. Caries is actually the most common oral disease. It affects 60 to 90% of humans in general. Cavities occur 7 times more often than hay fever and 5 times more often than asthma, in kids. Considering all human diseases, tooth decay ranks second only to the common cold.

In rare situations, severe tooth decay in the back of the mouth can allow bacteria to enter the sinuses and the brain, resulting in death. Furthermore, S. mutans are the bacteria responsible for endocarditis, a potentially fatal condition in which bacteria attach to heart valve walls and cause inflammation. Any area of decay or lesion on the soft tissues of the mouth can allow S. mutans to enter the blood stream. Because of this, oral health is closely linked to overall health. Controlling the amount of S. mutans in your mouth is vital to your ongoing good oral and overall health.

You should know, though, that tooth decay is completely preventable.

If you have a toothache, failing filling, or would like to learn more about white, tooth-colored composite fillings, call Desert Palm Dentistry in Glendale at (623) 915-9700 or Phoenix (602) 978-1932 to schedule your appointment.

Reduce Your Risk of Cavities

The following precautions can reduce your risk for tooth decay.

  • Topical fluoride: In children, a safe amount of ingested fluoride will strengthen undeveloped teeth against decay. For adults whose teeth have fully developed, fluoride is only beneficial when applied topically to teeth. This means, you should use fluoridated toothpaste, mouthwash, and swish fluoridated tap water in your mouth when possible. Fluoride has the interesting ability to attract calcium and phosphorus, which strengthen tooth enamel against bacterial invasion and the resulting decay.
  • Sealants: For kids under age 14, clear or tooth-colored dental sealants may be painted on the grooves and fissures of molars to create a barrier against acids, bacteria, and decay. Sealants wear off naturally, so they never need to be removed. Most dentists do not place sealants on adults due to the risk of trapping caries beneath the sealant, which will actually promote decay.
  • Consume fewer starches (and sugars): Your parents and teachers told you that candy causes cavities. It’s actually the sugar in candy, and starches – in breads, pasta, potatoes, corn, and other foods that lead to cavities. Oral bacteria consume the starches and create an acid that softens tooth enamel so that decay occurs. By consuming fewer starches, you’ll reduce your risk for cavities.

Contact Us Today

A dark spot on your tooth, a toothache, or a painful filling or crown may indicate that your tooth needs treatment. Never allow these symptoms to go unevaluated. Contact us if you believe you may need a dental filling or other restoration, and Dr. Dabestani will comprehensively examine your oral health, then advise you on the best course of treatment. Our Glendale, AZ dental office is taking appointments now. Call (623) 915-9700, or schedule a visit in Phoenix at (602) 978 – 1932.