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A filling is an easy and effective way to protect your teeth. Dr. Garth Riopelle offers teeth filling service in his San Ramon, CA dental office. You’ll be able to have your teeth restored to good health after you’ve suffered a cavity, broken tooth or damaged root. You can expect to be in the office for possibly 10 minutes to an hour for a filling.

Why Would You Need a Filling?
There are several reasons why the dentist may recommend you receive a filling. Cavities are are often the reason for a filling, because tooth decay can destroy the enamel on your tooth. If you neglect your teeth, plaque forms on the tooth and eventually can erode the enamel. The dentist can treat your cavity by going inside the tooth and removing all of the decay. After the decay is gone, he’ll need to fill the remaining space with a filling. Although they may sound technical, cavity filling is quick and relatively painless for most patients.
Teeth that are weakened by cavities or from another reason may break or fracture easily, especially if you’ve suffered a trauma. If your tooth is broken, the dentist may be able to use a cavity to restore it and save the tooth. The dentist will need to sand down your tooth to create an even surface, then he will place in the filling. Fillings for broken or fractured teeth are done on a case-by-case basis, therefore not every injured tooth is suitable for a filling; the dentist will make his recommendation as he sees fit.
If you don’t brush your teeth correctly, a tooth’s root can become exposed, which sometimes leads to a filling. The bristles of toothbrush are abrasive if you use a brushing technique that with long strokes in a horizontal movement. An exposed root is at risk for infection, so the dentist may use a filling to stop any infection and protect the tooth’s root.
You may even come to the dental office in San Ramon, CA to see Dr. Garth Riopelle for a cosmetic filling. If you have the old metal fillings, you may want to have them replaced with a natural-looking white resin filling that will blend well with your tooth. If you’re self-conscious about your teeth’s appearance, talk to the dentist about what cosmetic enhancements a filling may offer.

The Filling Process
Having a filling done by the dentist is quick and easy. First you’ll receive a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, the dentist use a drill to cut through the enamel and remove the tooth decay. Once all of the decay is gone, the hole left behind will be patched with a filling. Composite resin fillings will require that the dentist “paint” it on in layers, then let it harden by using a special light. The dentist will look at your filled area and shape it if necessary to fit, then polish your tooth. After you’ve had your filling, your tooth will be stronger and restored.

A typical filling can be accomplished in just one appointment, unless the dentist tells you otherwise. You will likely feel numb for a bit after the procedure, but this will wear off soon. The dentist will advise you to be careful chewing, and drinking hot or cold liquids. Some sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures may occur, but typically fades away. If you have any pain that persists, after your filling, tell the dentist in case you need to have an adjustment made.

Filling Types and Materials
The popularity of fillings has made it so there are multiple filling types available at dental offices today. Dr. Riopelle will be able to recommend the best filling type for you depending on several factors, including your budget, your tooth’s needs and the location of the tooth.
The first type of filling type is amalgam, also known as metal fillings. The filling contains a mixture of metal and is the least expensive filling to receive. Dentists have used this filling for years, however, some patients dislike them because they’re noticeable compared to composite fillings. Composite fillings are more aesthetically-pleasing because they’re tooth-colored and look natural as they bond right to your tooth. However, composite fillings are more expensive than amalgam fillings.
Gold is more expensive than both the amalgam and composite resin filling types, and can be harder to work with for dentists, which means it’s a long process for the patient. One thing to be aware of with gold fillings is a rare side effect called “galvanic shock.” A silver filling placed next to a gold filling can result in an electric charge as the two metals interact, thus causing galvanic shock. If you want to opt for a non-metal version, ceramic fillings are possible, because are expensive and can take several appointments to complete.
Amalgam fillings were popular choices but now more dentists recommend their patients receive composite fillings because unlike the amalgam, they can’t corrode or weaken tooth structure. Composite fillings also look more natural and don’t stain their teeth, plus they’re stronger than metal. You may discuss your concerns with Dr. Garth Riopelle at his dental office to see what filling type is best for you.

How Long Does a Filling Last?
Fillings can last over 10 years depending on the type of filling, where the filling is located and your dental health. The typical lifespan for the amalgam filling is 10 to 15 years, and composite fillings can last 7 to 10 years. Gold fillings have a lifespan that is similar to amalgam fillings, lasting typically 10 to 15 years. The dentist will tell you how to best take care of your teeth and what to do avoid losing a filling.

Contact Dr. Riopelle for a Filling Today
If tooth decay has given you a cavity, or your teeth have suffered damage, don’t let the condition worsen. Give your teeth the strength and protection they deserve. Contact Dr. Garth Riopelle in San Ramon, CA for a filling today.

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Our patients say:

Here are a few of our many great patient reviews we receive on Google, YELP, and Facebook.

“Best Care”

Highly respected by all other dental professionals and patients, and well known to give the best care in an comfortable setting.

Michelle S.

Five stars!

Lori S.

“Great skill and honesty”

I couldn’t speak more highly of Dr. Riopelle and his hygienists. The one and most important thing I can say besides great skill and care is his honesty. I have always felt that Dr. Riopelle and his talented staff, including administrators running the front office is that they truly care about your health above all else and is not about simply about making a buck with expensive and unnecessary procedures. Thanks Dr. Riopelle for your awesome service and great team!!

Joel L.


Dr. Riopelle and his staff are AMAZING. Dr. Riopelle made me feel totally relaxed about the procedure he was going to do and talked me through what he was doing. His assistant was so sweet and was very reassuring the entire visit. I couldn’t be happier with my experience at Dr. Riopelle and I’m so thankful I can now continue going there.

Erin Pokinghorn

“Pleasant and thorough”

It took me a while to find MY NEW DENTIST Dr. Riopelle after moving from another state. The office is clean, no wait time and not overbooked which is what I like! Dr. Rioppelle is very pleasant and thorough. He actually communicates with his patients and not just goes in and exams you and gets out like other places. I love they numbed my gums before cleaning to help with discomfort. I am very happy I found him!

Sandra V.

“Efficient and professional”

Dr. Riopelle and his staff was efficient, friendly, professional and thorough. My appointment was on time and done on time. The work done fulfilled my expectations and was painless. This has become the norm with Dr. Riopelle. I am actually looking forward to my next visit with the dentist.

Jon W.