Walter C. Dukes DDS Dentist Logo Santa Barbara CA

We have a great ocean view!

1809 CLIFF DRIVE, SUITE D, Santa Barbara, CA 93109

• 805-963-1222

Dr. Walter Dukes of Mesa Dental offers white tooth-colored dental fillings. They are made of composite or resin are mercury-free. Our dentist in Santa Barbara uses micro-air abrasion that can remove any tooth decay within a few minutes. The dental fillings are durable and can last up to 15 years. Dental fillings can withstand chewing and biting. However, they require proper oral care and maintenance to last long. With time, though, they can crack and chip. They may require replacing if they fall out.

During your regular dental appointment, Dr. Dukes will examine your dental fillings to check for any leaks, cracks, and chips. Leaking must be alleviated earlier to prevent bacteria and food particles from entering the filling. When there is leaking, the bacteria can easily enter the filling and create decay. Unfortunately, the symptoms of leaking are not easily noticeable. With regular dental checkups, however, Dr. Walter Dukes can detect if the dental fillings have leaks and remedy them before the symptoms show up.

Cracks in the fillings can also develop. One of the reasons is from biting down. It is especially true if the fillings are higher than the surface of your tooth. Dental filling cracks can also develop around the edges. But they can be fixed easily. However, it depends on the depth of the crack. If they are too big, they may require replacement.

Dental fillings will also wear down prematurely if you grind your teeth while sleeping. Dr. Walter Dukes may recommend a custom-fit mouthguard. It will not prevent you from grinding your teeth at night while you sleep. Rather, it will protect your teeth from the effects of teeth grinding.

Purposes of Dental Fillings?

This dental restoration will replace the tooth structure because of decay. Dental fillings can last for decades. Eventually, though, they may need to be replaced. One of the reasons that dental filling fail is the constant pressure from eating and drinking. If you clench or grind, they can cause the filling to fail. Fillings with cracks, tips or have worn away can leave space between the filling and the tooth. As a result, it gives the bacteria an entry point. But these bacteria cannot be eliminated through regular toothbrushing. Over time, decay can develop underneath the filling or along its edge. Undiagnosed decay can progress to affect the dental pulp. If it happens, you may need a root canal. Worse, you may lose your teeth.

Types of Tooth-Colored Materials

Amalgam is one of the materials used in dental fillings. It is made of copper, tin, silver, and mercury. All of these can provide stable filling material. It is easy to use and highly resistant to wear. Another material being used in making dental fillings is composite. It is a mixture of acrylic resin and glasslike particles. Fillings made of composite materials offer resistance to fracture. They can endure moderate chewing pressure. The glass ionomers are made of a fine glass powder containing fluoride and organic acid. The acid can offer solid restoration that can release fluoride.

Regular Dental Examinations

Dr. Walter Dukes recommends regular dental checkups every six months. In that way, he can check to find if the existing fillings have dental issues. It is not easy to see if your dental filling is worn by simply checking your teeth in the mirror. During the checkup, Dr. Walter will check if the filings are still intact. He uses an explorer to detect those worn spots in the filling’s edge. With the use of this tool, he can check if the filling’s seal is worn sufficiently that may need replacement. However, the use of this tool may not be enough to determine the health of dental fillings. Dr. Walter may request dental radiographs to further discover decay under the fillings. If the dentist in Santa Barbara sees evidence that the filling has failed or there is decay,  the dental fillings must be replaced promptly. Sometimes, when there is decay under the fillings, you will not feel any symptoms. It may not hurt. The only time it will hurt is when the dental issue has become critical. That’s why it is vital that you see Dr. Walter regularly so he can check your existing fillings. Early detection can curb the need for costly procedures.

Prevent Dental Filling from Failing

Dental fillings are durable. It is true. But they are still prone to cracks and chips. For that reason, it is vital that you avoid biting down on hard objects. Dr. Walter recommends eating soft foods. It is also vital to brush your teeth after every meal and floss every day. Practicing excellent oral hygiene can prolong the life of dental fillings and other dental restorations. However, even if you practice excellent dental hygiene, dental issues may still arise. They can be alleviated promptly if you visit your dentist regularly.

Avoid dental fillings to fail. Visit Mesa Dental today so Dr. Walter Dukes can check your existing fillings. For appointments, please call 805-963-1222.