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.  

When you come to the office, we ask that you wait in your car in the parking lot.  Diana will be calling you at your appointment time to let you know that your dental operatory is ready for you.  Susie, Chelsea or I will meet you outside to take a quick, touch-less temperature scan of the forehead, and 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

Tooth-Colored Fillings

Tooth-colored fillings can repair teeth weakened by decay. These restorations are composed of high-quality composite resin, which can be shade-matched to emulate your natural enamel. Many patients elect to have old or worn amalgam fillings replaced with composite material to achieve more aesthetically pleasing results.

Understanding the Structure of Teeth

Teeth are made of several layers. The outer portion of the tooth is composed of enamel, which is considered one of the strongest tissues in the body. Enamel protects the more sensitive underlying layers, including dentin and the inner pulp chamber.

What is a Cavity?

Cavities result from tooth decay, which is caused by a buildup of plaque on the surface of teeth. The acids in plaque begin to erode the enamel, which can cause small holes to develop. These holes are known as cavities.

Who Is Susceptible to Cavities?

Both children and adults are vulnerable to cavities. The enamel of primary teeth is softer than that of adult teeth, making these teeth more susceptible to decay. In addition, deep decay can spread from baby teeth to permanent teeth growing beneath the gums.

Tooth colored fillings are made from composite resin, a special compound of ceramic and plastic that closely mimics the shade and translucency of enamel.

With age, teeth can become worn down. Daily chewing, grinding, and biting can wear away at the enamel and result in small chips or fractures. These fissures can harbor bacteria. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have at least one cavity.

Do You Have a Cavity?

In their initial stages, cavities do not often present with noticeable symptoms. If you have more advanced stages of decay, you may notice:

  • Visible pits or holes in teeth
  • Brown, black, or white spots on enamel
  • Pain when consuming anything hot or cold
  • Difficulty chewing or biting down
  • Sporadic or chronic tooth pain

Your dentist is able to identify and treat cavities in their earliest stages. As a result, it is incredibly important to schedule biannual checkups, so your dentist can help you maintain a healthy smile.

Treatable Cases

When decay is mild to moderate, a dental filling can generally restore the structural integrity of a tooth. More extensive cavities may require an inlay or onlay, which can repair a larger area. If decay is left unaddressed, it can penetrate the underlying layers of the tooth. When a cavity reaches the pulp, root canal therapy may be the only way to salvage the tooth and avoid extraction. A dental crown can then restore the remaining structure and function of the tooth.

Comparing Composite to Amalgam

Comparing Composite to Amalgam
Composite material is color-matched to blend with the shade of your natural teeth.

Tooth Colored Filings vs. Amalgam Fillings

Traditionally, dentists used amalgam fillings to repair compromised teeth. These restorations are comprised of a mixture of metals, including tin, silver, copper, and mercury. However, with the advent of composite resin the 1980s, tooth-colored fillings became the preferred method of treatment.

Tooth colored fillings are made from composite resin, a special compound of ceramic and plastic that closely mimics the shade and translucency of enamel. These restorations provide more realistic results and offer the added benefit of stability. Unlike amalgam, which contracts and expands with temperature fluctuations, composite resin consistently maintains its shape. It also requires less enamel removal, so you can preserve the structural integrity of your smile.

Steps Included with Tooth Colored Fillings

Dental fillings can be often be placed on the same day as your examination. To determine the extent of decay, your dentist can take x-rays of your teeth. These images will be used to plan treatment. Typically, you can expect:

  • Anesthesia: Before treatment begins, a local anesthetic will be administered to numb the tooth and surrounding tissue. Patients who suffer from dental anxiety may benefit from stronger forms of sedation. 
  • Tooth preparation: Once you are comfortable, the dentist can remove unhealthy bacteria and damaged tissue.
  • Composite resin application: The dentist can carefully mix the composite resin material to ensure it blends seamlessly with the color of your tooth. The dentist can then apply the material in layers for maximum strength and shine a special curing light to harden the resin in place. Application requires a delicate technique and a keen eye for detail.
  • Tooth reshaping and polishing: Once the composite resin is hardened, the dentist will check for proper occlusion. Any excess resin will be trimmed and the tooth polished to reveal your new and improved smile.

With proper care, composite resin fillings can last for several years.

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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