Dental Fillings in Manhattan Beach & Woodland Hills CA

Cavities are common in children and teens but can occur in people of all ages. It’s important to treat cavities with dental fillings as soon as they present. Otherwise, a cavity can man and woman hugging infect your tooth’s root and require root canal therapy or even loss of the tooth.

At Modern American Dentistry, our Manhattan Beach and Woodland Hills dentists treat your dental cavity thoroughly but gently to help you maintain your tooth for life.

If you have a cavity or if you have not visited the dentist in a while, contact our Manhattan Beach, CA dental office at (310) 640-0967 or our Woodland Hills, CA dental office at (818) 319-4046 to schedule an appointment today. For convenience, you can also schedule online.

Always get in touch with us if you have any questions or concerns.

In the meantime, check out some of our most frequently asked questions about cavities and dental fillings below!

Why do teeth get cavities?

Teeth are covered and protected with enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. Denser than bone and able to withstand immense pressures, tooth enamel can still decay if your teeth are not taken care of properly.

This means brushing and flossing at least twice per day, visiting our Manhattan Beach or Woodland Hills dental office regularly, and having professional teeth cleanings at least twice per year.

Limiting sweets—both in foods and in beverages—is also important when it comes to cavity prevention.

If you grind or clench your teeth, enamel can erode and lead to cavities. The same is true if your bite is not even.   

See one of our top general dentists to learn more. You may need a night guard to prevent grinding and clenching because many patients do this while sleeping. You may also need dental work to bring your bite in line.

How do I know if I have a cavity?

If you have a cavity, you may notice tooth sensitivity or pain when eating or drinking. In some cases, you may see small holes or tiny pits in your teeth and unsightly brown or white spots on the surface of the tooth.

However, sometimes a cavity is too small to see or located at the back of the mouth, which makes it hard to discover on your own.

A very small cavity may not be noticeable, which is why it’s important to visit our dental office regularly, so one of our dentists can catch a small cavity before it becomes larger or more painful.

Periodic x-rays, which are very safe considering today’s technologies, help our caring dentists spot small issues (or small cavities) before they become real problems!

How are dental fillings done?

At Modern American Dentistry, our California dentists use Dr. Joel Gould’s proprietary time-saving filling technique for a restoration with improved longevity.

After your preliminary checkup and medical history, preparing your tooth includes an anesthetic to numb the sensitive nerves around your tooth and removal of the decayed tooth structure.

Your dentist will shape the filling material and polish the final restoration. Your restored tooth works just like your natural tooth and can be re-polished whenever necessary.

Fillings from our dental offices restore damaged teeth and tooth enamel with biocompatible materials such as composite resin or porcelain restorations. These restorative materials are formulated to interact safely with the sensitive inner tooth, nerve endings, and tissues while providing the strength that approaches enamel’s strength and stability.

Will my tooth be weak after a filling?

At Modern American Dentistry, we utilize the latest materials to provide strong fillings for you. This means porcelain or quality resins to keep your tooth viable.

If our dentist feels that decay or trauma has weakened your tooth, he may recommend a dental crown as opposed to a filling. A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cover that blends in with your smile.

However, in most cases, a dental filling is sufficient to maintain your tooth and keep it strong.

Do fillings hurt?

At Modern American Dentistry, our dentists always make sure patients are thoroughly numb before filling a dental cavity.

However, if you’re feeling especially anxious, we take extra measures to make sure you’re comfortable. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) creates a calming and floating feeling, which helps you remain cozy during your dental filling procedure.  

Nitrous oxide is delivered through a small nose mask, and the calming and floating feelings wear off almost immediately following mask removal.

Do you offer tooth-colored fillings?

A well-placed filling can be undetectable when it comes to the function, integrity, and look of natural teeth.

Any structural loss that results from trauma or cavities will need to be rebuilt with material that is suited for your tooth and your mouth. Your restored tooth will be just as functional as your natural teeth, and we do offer tooth-colored fillings to make your dental work undetectable.

If I have a dental filling, can I still have a professional teeth-whitening treatment?

If your cavity has been filled, you can generally still have a professional teeth whitening treatment.

However, one of our top cosmetic dentists will assess your teeth and gums to make sure a professional teeth whitening treatment is the right option for you.

It’s important to remember that a tooth-colored filling will not bleach the way your teeth will. If you’re planning to have a professional teeth whitening treatment in Woodland Hills or Manhattan Beach, one of our dentists may recommend choosing a lighter resin to fill your tooth, especially if the filling is located in your smile line.

What is the difference between a tooth filling and a root canal?

A cavity is a small area of decay. This decay needs to be cleared away and filled with a strong porcelain or resin material to keep the tooth strong and viable.

If you need a root canal, this means you have a deep root cavity or infection that requires root removal followed by a filling.

In some cases, a root canal weakens your tooth’s structure and leaves it vulnerable to breakage. If this happens, one of our dentists will recommend a dental crown.

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cover that goes on over an existing tooth to keep it strong and shorn up against breakage. A dental crown looks and functions like your natural teeth and keeps your bite strong and healthy.

What are the best ways to prevent cavities?toothbrush with blue toothpaste

Good habits are the best way to eliminate or significantly lower your risk for developing cavities.

Prevention in partnership with our dentist calls for the following:

  • Visiting our dentist at least twice per year for exams
  • Twice-yearly dental cleanings with one of our dental hygienists
  • Periodic x-rays

At home prevention calls for:

  • Brushing and flossing at least twice per day
  • Cutting down on sweets

Remember, even if you brush and floss regularly, your toothbrush will miss key areas, and bacteria and tartar cannot be eliminated through brushing and flossing alone. Dental cleanings in either our Woodland Hills or Manhattan Beach dental office—in conjunction with best practices at home— is your best course when it comes to preventing cavities.

Contact Our Woodland Hills or Manhattan Beach Dental Office Today

If you haven’t scheduled an exam in a while, contact one of our dental offices today. Don’t let cavities turn into tooth loss!