Using dental fillings to address cavities

One of the most prevalent persistent health conditions is tooth decay, or “cavities.” While this condition is entirely preventable, it can sometimes still occur within the smile due to various reasons. When it happens, there is an affordable and effective way to restore the tooth and prevent the decay from becoming more significant. In San Jose, California, this is done by Drs. Provenzano and Simel, with composite cavity fillings, or “tooth-colored dental fillings.”

What are composite cavity fillings?

To restore decayed teeth, many dentists in the past used materials such as silver amalgam. Silver amalgam fillings are composed of approximately 50% mercury, a toxin to the human body. Many studies continue to show that silver amalgam in filling materials is not safe and can lead to mercury toxicity. Instead, the team at Natalie K. Provenzano DDS, Inc encourages patients to use tooth-colored composite cavity fillings when addressing areas of tooth decay. This composite resin substance is used to fill areas of decay and seal off the tooth to reduce the risk of infection inside the tooth. The composite material does not expand and contract the same way silver amalgam or metal fillings can, leaving the tooth compromised.

How long do dental fillings last?

Dental fillings are not permanent, though they can last many years before they need replacing. The dentist checks the integrity of dental fillings during routine dental visits to ensure they are doing their job and protecting the natural tooth appropriately.

Do dental fillings hurt?

When placing dental fillings, our dentists will use proper anesthetics to ensure patients are comfortable during the entire process.

Can you eat after a dental filling?

Yes! The composite resin fillings are hardened with a special light that ensures the restoration is firm and functioning immediately after one’s appointment.

Do you need to restore decayed teeth?

Don’t feel embarrassed by your condition. When you visit the dentist for fillings, you are proactive toward protecting the rest of your smile from tooth decay and disease. We welcome you to call the practice of Dr. Natalie K. Provenzano at (408) 226-2542 to request a consultation visit at 6020 Hellyer Avenue, Suite #100. We are open to new patients and families needing general, cosmetic, and restorative dental care.

Frequently asked questions

Why would I need dental fillings?

You may need a dental filling if you have tooth decay. By placing a filling, your dentist can help to prevent the decay from spreading and save your tooth from infection or extraction.

Are dental fillings noticeable?

They don’t have to be! Dental fillings can be made out of safe, tooth-colored composite material that blends in with your smile to keep your smile healthy and attractive.

What are signs I may have a cavity?

When you have a tooth which has developed a cavity due to decay, you may notice some of the following symptoms:

  • Discomfort in your tooth when using it to bite or chew
  • Sensitivity of the tooth when consuming food or drink that is hot, cold, or sweet
  • Pits or holes in the tooth which are noticeable by the naked eye
  • Spots on the teeth which are brown, black, or white in color

Some of these symptoms may not present themselves until the cavity becomes fairly large. Cavities which are smaller and symptomless can be spotted by Dr. Provenzano during a dental examination.

What happens during the filling procedure?

When you visit Dr. Provenzano to have a cavity filled, it is a very simple and comfortable experience. First, the area of your mouth where the filling will be placed is numbed by a local anesthetic. Once your tooth, gums, and mouth are completely numbed, the decayed portion of the tooth will be removed. Once all of the decay is gone and the tooth has been cleaned of any remaining debris or bacteria, Dr. Provenzano will apply the tooth-colored composite material to fill the cavity and this will be bonded to the tooth for a strong and long-lasting hold.

What material is used for a dental filling?

Dr. Provenzano has moved completely away from the old metal amalgam fillings of the past and is proud to offer tooth-colored composite resin fillings. Composite resin can be shaded to match the color of the tooth it is being applied to and is physically bonded to the tooth for a strong and durable hold. This form of filling is very discreet and our patients love that we use this material for their fillings.

Dr. Natalie Provenzano

Dr. Natalie Provenzano

Dr. Simel

Dr. Or Simel

Dr. Natalie Provenzano is a renowned dentist in San Jose, California. With associate, Oral Surgeon Dr. Or Simel, they provide exceptional general, cosmetic, and restorative dental services to patients of all ages.

Dr. Provenzano has been practicing dentistry since 2002 when she graduated from the University of Southern California Dental School in the class’ top 10. She served on the school’s ethics committee and was a member of the Oral Sedation Team and the National Dental Honor Society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon. After graduating, Dr. Provenzano was the recipient of the American Association of Women Dentist’s “Female Dentist of the Year” Award.

Also a graduate of Loyola Marymount University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Biology, Dr. Provenzano was an active member of Ignatians Service Organization and Delta Gamma Fraternity, with the distinction of being chosen for Order of Omega and Delta Sigma Nu Honor Societies.