Suppose you develop a cavity or damage a tooth, and you’re interested in preserving as much tooth structure as possible while having a biocompatible restoration to repair your tooth. In that case, this is where you need to be! At Holistic Smiles LA, Dr. Monempour serves the Los Angeles area using non-toxic restorations, biocompatible fillings, and a conservative approach to encourage optimal oral and whole-body health. Holistic Smiles LA offers biocompatible fillings to Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Marina Del Rey, and other surrounding cities in Los Angeles. Call the office today to make an appointment.
What are biocompatible fillings?
A biocompatible filling is a metal-free, BPA-free, ceramic-resin composite designed for smaller cavities and completed in a single visit. These fillings will match the color of your current dentition and will blend in, so you won't even know there is a filling there.
Traditionally, fillings were made of amalgam, containing approximately 50% mercury, and the rest a mixture of silver, tin, and copper. Though sturdy, amalgam is toxic and can fracture teeth over time. This is because metal fillings expand and contract with heat and cold. The tooth, however, can only take so much pressure.
Biocompatible fillings are tooth-colored and do not expand or contract with temperature changes. Most importantly, they do not contain any mercury or BPA, making them significantly safer and better for long-term restorations.
What does getting a biocompatible filling involve?
At Holistic Smiles LA, getting a biocompatible filling takes about an hour. First, Dr. Monempour conducts an oral exam to determine the location and severity of your cavity. An X-ray is taken before working on any tooth to properly evaluate the extent of the decay and rule out any infection or pathology.
This oral exam is part of the initial comprehensive exam. The comprehensive exam takes anywhere from 1-2 hours to complete.
During the exam, Dr. Monempour evaluates the soft tissues, including the cheeks and lips, tongue, throat. He administers an oral cancer screening, head and neck examination, lymph node examination, and lastly, teeth. Dr. Monempour often uses transillumination and infrared technology to look for cracks or fractures in teeth, or decay, with zero radiation. He also scans all new patients with a digital scanner, so when a patient returns for a check-up, he can rescan and superimpose the images to view for signs of grinding or wear.
It’s important to note, a filling can take an hour, while an exam and filing can take between 2-3 hours, depending on the circumstances.
Before starting any treatment, Dr. Monempour will take a photo of the tooth. He will then place a topical gel to get the soft tissue numb. Then, using an STA Wand device, he will give an anesthetic to numb the tooth. This STA Wand uses a foot pedal to control the speed of the anesthetic, which allows for a less noticeable “pinch.”
Once numb, Dr. Monempour will use either a laser, air abrasion, or an electric handpiece (whichever will allow him to be the most conservative), and will remove the defective tooth structure. He uses an indicator to confirm that all caries have been removed and begins the filling process.
First, the tooth is etched to remove impurities and open up the dentin tubules. Then, the tooth is rinsed with fresh ozonated water, and a 3-step bonding system to condition the tooth to receive the biocompatible filling. Once the filling is placed, it is polished and shaped to perfection. The bite is always checked at the end and adjusted if needed.
Do biocompatible fillings hurt?
The only part that might hurt is getting numb. Let’s be honest, nobody likes the “pinch,” but Dr. Monempour has a method that is very tolerable for patients.
Some sensitivity may persist after getting a filling, while others experience no sensitivity. On average, patients report some sensitivity for a couple of days following the procedure.
How long do biocompatible fillings last?
Biocompatible fillings can last up to 20 years when properly cared for and sometimes even longer. If you want to keep your filling in optimal condition, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene and avoid acidic foods and carbonated beverages. Dr. Monempour recommends brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing regularly, and getting your teeth cleaned every 3-6 months.
Are there other types of biocompatible restorations?
Yes. At Holistic Smiles LA, Dr. Monempour is proud to offer a variety of biocompatible restorations, including:
- Ceramic inlays
- Ceramic onlays
- Emax veneers
- Ceramic and zirconia crowns
- Ceramic and zirconia bridges
These restorations are made from porcelain and zirconia. They contain no metal and mimic your tooth enamel's color and light-reflecting properties, allowing them to blend in with your existing permanent teeth.
To learn more about biocompatible fillings, make an appointment at Holistic Smiles LA by calling the office today!