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

Dental Filling Types

Learn about composite and silver dental fillings, including the benefits and side effects associated with each material, before you decide to have your smile restored with this cosmetic dentistry treatment.

Composite Dental Fillings

Composite fillings, also known as white or tooth-colored fillings, have replaced the need for silver amalgam material when filling in areas of teeth that have been affected by tooth decay and cavities. The majority of Americans are now choosing to have old silver fillings replaced and new cavities filled with composite solutions despite the fact that tooth colored fillings are more expensive than silver fillings.

composite filling
The shade of composite material can be customized to blend with your enamel.

Composite Fillings Benefits

Composite fillings offer a number of benefits over silver amalgam fillings, which contain mercury and are considered by many to be toxic.

  • Composite materials can restore and strengthen the teeth; silver fillings actually weaken the tooth because the metal can expand and contract based on temperature changes, making the tooth more prone to breakage.
  • Dentists do not have to remove as much of your natural tooth structure when prepping it for the composite fillings, whereas the hole required for silver fillings is significantly larger.
  • White fillings improve the health of teeth without marring their appearance with dark fillings.
  • There is less post-treatment pain and sensitivity associated with use of composite materials versus silver fillings.

Composite Fillings Risks and Side Effects

There are no known health risks associated with use of composite fillings. However, some patients do experience mild discomfort in the days following the procedure. Patients can expect to feel some pain and sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks, especially in the first week or two after treatment.

Silver Fillings

In the past, use of metal fillings to treat cavities was common in the United States. Since composite, or tooth-colored fillings, were developed and made available to consumers in the 1990s, dentists and patients have come to prefer composite filler materials over silver amalgam fillers for a range of reasons. However, some patients find that silver fillings are sufficient and dentists do still use this material to treat teeth damaged by decay.

amalgam filling
Silver fillings can strengthen a smile compromised by decay.

Metal Fillings Benefits

One of the main reasons patients prefer silver amalgam fillings to composite solutions is because of the cost. Silver fillings generally cost $110 to $200 per filling, while composite fillings generally cost $135 to $240 per filling. The cost varies based on the extent of damage to the tooth. In addition, dental health insurance policies generally cover a significant portion of the cost of these procedures. Other benefits of amalgam fillings include:

  • The procedure is shorter than the composite treatment.
  • The silver filling treatment requires less skill and technology than the composite technique.
  • Silver fillings have been used for decades, and many patients are more comfortable with the materials long-term safety record.

Metal Fillings Risks and Side Effects

Although silver fillings are effective in treating cavities, they are associated with some health risks and side effects.

  • Although metal fillings have been shown to be safe in patients, many believe that use of mercury in the amalgam material may lead to future health problems.
  • The metal material can expand and contract over time, and could potentially cause damage to the structure of the tooth.
  • The dentist must remove more of the tooth structure than is required when composite material is used to fill in the cavity.
  • Teeth may be more sensitive to hot and cold foods in the weeks following treatment.

Contact a Dentist

If you suspect you have a cavity or you would like to have all of your silver amalgam fillings replaced with tooth-colored fillings, contact a local cosmetic dentist. A dentist can examine your teeth and gums to diagnose any issues you may have, and recommend the appropriate course of treatment.

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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