We are now open!

Greetings to all of our patients!  

I want to take this time to reach out to you all and reconnect so as to let you all know what we've been up to during the Novel Corona Virus Pandemic.  I want to state that our #1 priority is, and has always been the health & safety of our patients, and, of course, to provide to you the highest quality dental care we can!  

I am sure most of you have questions and concerns regarding the safety of dentistry during this time, so we'd like to share the measures and actions we are taking to ensure your safety here at our office.

First of all, the culture here will be a little bit different in the “post novel corona virus world”.  At least until researchers come up with therapies and /or a vaccine!  We will be implementing some new systems in our practice to mitigate the risk of disease transmission here.  

What to expect when you come to the office?  Prior to your appointment, when Diana calls you to confirm your appointment date and time, she will ask a few quick questions regarding your medical status, and any symptoms suggestive of an illness...We ask that if you are ill with a fever, coughing, etc. to please reschedule for when you are well.  

We ask that you please call when you arrive to the office. Diana, Chelsea or Susie will meet you at your car to take a quick, touch-less temperature scan of the forehead, also you will have a small device clipped to your finger called an oximeter. This gadget shines light through your fingertip or earlobe. It works out how much oxygen is in your blood. We will then escort you directly to your treatment room.  

We will be spacing out our patient appointments so that there is only one patient on the dentistry side with Susie and I, and only one patient in the hygiene side with Chelsea.  For the most part, no one is allowed to wait in the lobby until further notice...We will of course, accommodate people escorting children or elderly patients.

All surfaces will be disinfected with Hospital Grade Disinfectants (as we've always done in the past) between patients.  All door knobs, light switches, etc. will be disinfected every 30 minutes throughout the day!  This will mitigate the risk of any infectious disease transmission via surfaces.

Ever since the HIV epidemic in the 1980's, dentistry as an industry has employed “Universal Precautions” (masks, gloves, “single use” disposable equipment, etc.) to mitigate disease transmission.  

The most concerning of transmission routes for infection, including novel corona virus, is via “'aerosols”.  Dentists and hygienists  have used “High Volume Evacuation” (HVE) routinely for decades to capture aerosols generated by dental hand pieces (drill) and ultra-sonic scaling devices.  HVE reduces aerosols by 90% !  

We will continue to use HVE for all procedures that generate aerosols.  In addition to HVE, we've invested in Medical Grade H-13 HEPA aerosol scavengers in our operatories (basically a very powerful vacuum) with a snorkel hose that we can position adjacent to the treatment field to scavenge any aerosol the HVE misses.

We have also invested in nine medical grade H-13 HEPA air filtration units placed throughout the office which will completely clean/turn over the air every 10 minutes, or six times per hour.

Another investment made was having medical grade UVC (Ultra-Violet C) units installed in our Central  Air Conditioning/Heating units that kill Bacteria and Virus as the air passes through. 

Finally, we will fog the office with Hypochlorous Acid, a human safe, yet powerful disinfectant at the end of each day.

We want you all to know that we are taking all possible precautions and measures to ensure your safety, and the safety of our team here!

To further streamline your experience at the office, we will be scheduling return visits for you in the operatory, at the end of your appointment.  We will make available electronic payment options in order to minimize visiting the front desk.

Warm regards,

Dr. Paulerio and Team

Amalgam Fillings vs. Composite

Amalgam Fillings
Composite Fillings
Appearance
Silver
Tooth-Colored
Durability
Can withstand exceptional force
Fair resistance to normal biting forces
Cost
$89 on average (w/insurance)
$207 on average (w/insurance)
tooth with amalgam filling tooth with composite filling

Understanding Your Choices

You probably know you need a filling after decay is removed but not so much about the different materials available.

Both amalgam and composite fillings can be used to restore your tooth, protecting it from further damage and decay by closing spaces that are left behind after the tooth has been treated.

Composite fillings have become an effective and more aesthetic solution for restoring teeth. However, in some case, amalgam may be recommended to provide the necessary strength to withstand greater force.

The Greatest Difference Between These Materials Is Their Appearance

composite vs amalgam filling composite vs amalgam filling

The Defining Differences between Amalgam & Composite Fillings

Aesthetics

Amalgam fillings have a darker, silver color once applied to teeth, making them instantly noticeable. On the other hand, composite fillings are tooth-colored, allowing them to blend with the rest of the tooth.

Durability

While composite fillings can withstand the normal stresses of chewing, they are less resistant to excessive force. This is why amalgam fillings are typically recommended for patients who suffer from bruxism or temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder.

Alteration to the Natural Tooth Structure

To properly secure an amalgam filling, special alterations must be made to the tooth, removing more of the natural structure. Composite fillings can be bonded directly to the tooth.

Cost

Typically, composite fillings are slightly more expensive than amalgam fillings. Additionally, they may not be covered by insurance due to a difference in the cost of materials.

Durability & Replacement of Composite Fillings

According to the American Dental Association, studies have shown that composite fillings can be less durable in certain circumstances and may require more frequent replacement compared to amalgam fillings.

Both Amalgam & Composite Fillings Are Safe & Reliable Solutions

Restore the Shape of Your Tooth

Once the doctor removes the decayed portion of the tooth, an opening will be left behind. Placing a filling of any kind can restore proper shape and complete your tooth.

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Provide Strength & Protection

Without a filling, your tooth would be weaker structurally and substantially exposed to bacteria. A filling provides strength and protection to help prevent further breakage or infection.

Safe to Use

You may be under the impression that because amalgam fillings contain mercury that they are dangerous. However, that is not the case. You are exposed to more harmful amounts of mercury in the air and in your food.

Amalgam Is Safe

Many scientific organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dental Association, agree that amalgam is a safe dental filling material.

Millions of Patients Successfully Repair Their Teeth with Fillings Each Year

10-year success rate of over 80% infographic

*According to the Journal of Conservative Dentistry

Over 100 million amalgam fillings are placed each year and composite fillings continue to grow in popularity. While there has been debate as to which has a higher survival rate, it has been found that both have a 10-year success rate of nearly 80 percent.

Considering the Pros & Cons

Pros

Composite Fillings Amalgam Fillings
Safe dental material that can replace the decayed portion of tooth X X
Protect both anterior and posterior teeth X X
Natural-looking results X
Withstand exceptional force caused by teeth grinding or TMJ disorder X

Cons

Composite Fillings Amalgam Fillings
Color of the material disrupts the aesthetics of your smile X
Eventually need to be replaced X X
Must substantially alter the tooth structure X
Greater cost X

Is A Filling My Only Choice?

Typically, the type of restoration recommended to fix your tooth will depend on the extent of decay.

If you have more extensive damage, you may need an inlay or onlay or a dental crown.

the stages of tooth decay

Choosing the Best Solution for Your Smile

While composite fillings have grown in popularity due to their more complimentary appearance, amalgam fillings have been trusted for decades. When making your decision, consider these factors:

Decision tree of amalgam vs composite filling

Your doctor can provide their recommendation based on your goals and needs during your consultation.

Point Loma Family Dentistry team

Point Loma Family Dentistry

Dr. Louis E. Paulerio is a top-rated dentist who is committed to providing the latest dental treatments in a caring, warm setting. He is a member of several prestigious dental organizations, including: 

  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • International Dental Implant Association

He also uses CEREC technology to create beautiful, long-lasting dental restorations in just one appointment. Ready to schedule a consultation at our Point Loma office? Request your appointment online or call us at (619) 223-3811.

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1635 Rosecrans St
Ste A
San Diego, CA 92106

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