Fillings

Edward L. Loev, DMD -  - Dentist

Edward L. Loev, DMD

Dentist located in Union Square, San Francisco, CA

Fillings Specialist
Dr. Loev treats cavities and decay with a variety of filling options from his practice, located in San Francisco, CA.

Fillings

What is a Filling?

When a tooth has become damaged by decay, a filling is used to repair it and return its normal function and shape. During treatment, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material and clean the tooth of any debris. Next, he fills in the cleaned out cavity with one of the types of filling materials. A filling protects the tooth from further decay or damage due to its weakened state.  

What Types of Fillings Are There?

Dr. Loev will discuss the filling options available to the patient and together they will choose the material to be used. The factors affecting the type of filling include the extent of the damage, whether the person has allergies to certain materials, where in the person’s mouth the filling is required, and how much the material will cost. The types of fillings include:

  • Composite resins are color matched to teeth and are employed where a natural appearance is desired. Composites may not be ideal for large fillings because they can chip and wear over time. They can also become stained and usually last from 3 to 10 years.
  • Silver Amalgam fillings resist wear and are relatively inexpensive. However, they are more noticeable and are not typically used in visible areas such as the front teeth. An amalgam filling can be an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and occasionally zinc.
  • Porcelain fillings are referred to as inlays or onlays. They are made to order in a lab and then bonded to teeth. They can be color matched and resist staining. A porcelain filling will cover most of the tooth, and they cost about as much as gold.

Do fillings ever need to be replaced?

Fillings can wear over time and some materials, like the white composite resin, can become stained. Constant pressure from chewing, grinding or clenching teeth can damage fillings with chips, cracks or accelerated wear. When the seal between the filling and the tooth is breached, food particles and decay-causing bacteria can enter the tooth causing additional decay. If this happens and is not treated, the decay could reach the pulpy center of the tooth and necessitate a root canal.

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Edward Loev, DMD
450 Sutter Street
Suite 2428
San Francisco, CA 94108