Dental fillings are used to repair decayed areas in teeth. If the decayed portion of a tooth is not removed and filled with an artificial substance, the tooth will continue to deteriorate, causing more extensive damage, pain and expense.
When a tooth is filled, Dr. Pfeiffer numbs the area of the mouth where the tooth is located. Then he removes the decayed area of the tooth using a special instrument. Finally, he'll fill the removed area of the tooth with a special material made from composite resin, gold, silver amalgam, ceramic or porcelain.
Dentists often prefer to use silver amalgam fillings in molars because the material is much more durable than tooth-colored composite fillings. Amalgam fillings include metals such as silver, mercury, copper, tin and zinc which form a stable alloy. Dentists have used amalgam fillings for decades to preserve millions of decayed teeth.
However, since amalgam dental fillings contain mercury, some patients wonder if they're safe. The short answer is yes. Fewer than 100 people have ever reported an allergy to an amalgam filling. And numerous studies by the American Dental Association, National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration have found no link between amalgam fillings and autism, Alzheimer's disease or multiple sclerosis.
Dental fillings aren't usually painful, but some patients report sensitivity around a tooth that's been filled for a few weeks after treatment. The tooth may be sensitive to heat and cold, pressure, sweet foods and/or air. The sensitivity should resolve on its own and generally should not require pain relievers. If sensitivity persists, consult Dr. Pfeiffer.
Dental bonding is the application of a composite resin, a type of plastic, to a tooth to repair it. The term bonding comes from the ability of the resin to bond with tooth enamel and fill in gaps.
Bonding is a simple way to improve the way a tooth looks. It is the least expensive of the available cosmetic procedures to repair a damage tooth, as well. When a tooth chips or fractures, it leaves a gapping hole in the dental architecture that looks ugly and can affect the functioning of the teeth.
The break in a tooth can be a health concern, as well. An opening in the enamel may allow bacteria to enter the root of the tooth and damage the soft tissue and nerves. Bonding covers that opening to protect the inner chamber of the tooth.
In some cases, dental bonding is used to correct a congenital problem with teeth. The bond changes the shape of a tooth to close a gap and improve the alignment of the teeth. For example, a patient with a gap between the front teeth may opt to apply bonding to each tooth to fill it.
A veneer is a thin shell that is bonded to the surface of a tooth. Bonding is a resin painted onto a small area of a tooth just to fill a gap or crevice. Veneers are a more advanced and expensive type of cosmetic dentistry. Bonding, on the other hand, is a quick and painless way to improve the appearance of a tooth.
We accept most PPO insurance plans. Below is a shortlist of just some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you have specific questions regarding insurance.
"This is a great office. Laid back Malibu atmosphere but clearly very knowledgeable doc and great staff. It reminds me of the family oriented dentists I had growing up."
"I've been to many many dentists and never trusted a single one until Dr. Pfeiffer. He's a straight shooter."
"This is the best, most economical, honest dentist I have ever had. I live in Venice and would rather they be closer, but they are well worth the drive."