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Fillings & Restorations


Fillings are one of the most common and effective restorative dentistry treatments in dentistry. These restorations can repair cavities and minor tooth damage to restore your dental function. They can also seal off your tooth to keep bacteria from getting back inside. Dr. Sowmya will conduct a full exam to determine if a filling is a suitable treatment for you. At the same time, she will consider your health needs and cosmetic goals to help you choose the right filling material.

Are You a Candidate for a Filling?

A filling can be a good option if you have a small to moderately sized cavity. If you have extensive damage, Dr. Sowmya may recommend a larger restoration. For example, if you have a big cavity on one of your molars, you may benefit from an inlay or onlay. If you have particularly severe damage, a dental crown may be the solution. This larger restoration will fit all the way over your tooth to restore both appearance and function.

Types of Dental Fillings

We offer fillings made from different kinds of materials. For many years, metal fillings, made from gold or silver amalgam, were the most common option. Metal is hard and durable, and silver amalgam is very affordable. However, over time, these dark substances can start to show through, giving your tooth a gray tint. Therefore, tooth-colored composite resin fillings are becoming a more popular choice. A tooth-colored filling will be a near-perfect match to your teeth, and, with advances in dentistry, the material is almost as strong as metal. Plus, composite has advantages for your overall dental health. The material will form a stronger bond with your tooth, and, unlike a metal filling, it will not expand and contract with temperature variations.

What to Expect during the Filling Procedure

When you receive a filling, Dr. Sowmya will first administer local anesthesia. Then she will clean out your tooth, removing bacteria and damaged material. Next, she will place a sealant on the inside of your tooth. To create a secure bonding surface for your filling, she will lightly etch the inside of your tooth. Then she will place the filling. If you choose a composite restoration, she will place the material in layers, and she will use a curing light to harden each level. When the entire filling is in place, your dentist will trim off any excess material to make sure that it does not interfere with your natural bite. She will make any necessary adjustments and then smooth and polish your new filling.

The Benefits of Dental Fillings

Dental fillings can have tremendous benefits for your oral health. First, the restoration will strengthen your tooth and restore its full functionality. A few days after treatment, you should be able to eat a full, unrestricted diet. A filling can also eliminate the discomfort of a cavity. Finally, the restoration will seal your tooth to prevent a return of oral bacteria.

Contact Us to Schedule an Appointment

If you are suffering from a toothache, or if you have been diagnosed with a cavity, contact our office to find out if a filling is right for you.



All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing, and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. Tooth loss does not necessarily have to occur as you age. But if you do lose teeth, they must be replaced to maintain proper function of your mouth. Fortunately, there are options for correcting tooth loss.


A bridge, a device used to replace missing teeth, attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. Bridges are either permanently attached (fixed bridges) or they can be removable (removable bridge).

Fixed bridges are applied by either placing crowns on the abutment teeth or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth. Removable bridges are attached to the teeth with metal clasps or by precision attachments.

If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be aware of their importance to your appearance and dental health. Your teeth work together for many daily functions from eating to speaking. With missing teeth, it is difficult to do these things. Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Fixed bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance.


A bridge (fixed partial denture) is a device that fills the gap where teeth are absent. Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dental professional. Removable bridges, as the name implies, can be taken out and cleaned. Fixed bridges offer more stability than their removable counterparts.


Oral functionality and appearance are important reasons for wearing a bridge. A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your mouth to sink and your face to look older.

Dental health is the most important reason for a bridge. Teeth were designed to complement each other. Unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing, causing a number of potentially harmful disorders.

Increased risk of gum disease has proven to be one of the worst side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized with a bridge.

Missing teeth can cause speech disorders because they are used to make many of the sounds we use to speak clearly.


The attachment procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment, Dr. Sowmya will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin.

Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be constructed.

Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.


Bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either a precious or non-precious metal.


A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.


Crowns or “Caps” are known as Fixed Prosthodontics in the world of dentistry. The practice of Cville Dentist takes a special interest in dental crowns, led by Dr. Sowmya. Dental Crowns are a cosmetic restoration used to strengthen a tooth or improve its shape. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or partially destroyed by tooth decay.



Most dentistry looks like dentistry. Our goal is to provide dentistry that is undetectable. We replace existing crowns and fillings with restorations that look and feel like your natural teeth.

Where damage to a person’s teeth is extreme and may be beyond repair, we can use porcelain or porcelain “pasted-on-gold” crowns to make the smile appear like new. This is an extremely reliable technique for repairing the most severe dental problems, even permanently replacing missing teeth to offer a complete smile and a functional bite. We are renowned for the quality of our work and the fantastic changes we make for people using this technology. These treatments are used for a long-lasting correction of major dental problems. It is usual for these treatments to last for 20 to 30 years, which is as close to permanent as dental treatment can get.


Fitting a crown requires at least two visits to our office. Initially, we will remove decay, shape the tooth, and fit it with a temporary crown of either plastic or metal.

On the subsequent visit, we will remove the temporary crown and then fit and adjust the final crown. Finally, we will cement the crown into place and you have a new beautiful looking tooth.

Key Benefits of Dental Crowns:

  • Replaces missing teeth.

  • Offers support to misshapen teeth or broken teeth.

  • Looks completely natural.

  • Repairs smile and functional chewing problems.


Crown and bridgework are very reliable solutions for major dental problems caused by accidents, diseases, or wear and tear. Major problems can usually be corrected using these techniques. Materials used in these repairs are either high-grade porcelain or porcelain bonded to gold. A higher strength of the porcelain and gold materials is recommended to treat the most serious dental problems. In instances where damage has occurred resulting in the loss of teeth, where teeth have broken away through excessive wear, or tooth damage caused by old fillings breaking down, crowns and/or bridges can be used as a long-term solution.

Many people have unexplained pain from filled back teeth that are usually due to hairline cracks in the chewing part of the tooth. Placing crowns on these teeth relieves the pain and allows a return of full dental function. In front teeth, older fillings can both weaken the teeth and cause appearance problems due to staining or chipping. Porcelain crowns and bridges are suitable in cases where porcelain veneers are not. In teeth with root canal fillings, crowns can prevent breakage.



You and Dr. Sowmya may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.

The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health. To avoid these complications, in most cases Dr. Sowmya will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.



At the time of extraction, Dr. Sowmya will need to numb your tooth, jawbone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic. During the extraction process you will feel a lot of pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal. You feel the pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain, yet the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected. If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction please let us know right away.


Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. Dr. Sowmya will simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.


Bleeding - Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 45 minutes can control this.

Blood clots that form in the empty socket - This is an important part of the healing process and you must be careful not to dislodge the clot.

  • Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction.

  • Avoid use of a straw, smoking or hot liquids.

Swelling - If swelling occurs you can place ice on your face for 10 minutes and off for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours.

Pain and Medications - If you experience pain you may use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Eating - For most extractions just make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A liquid diet may be recommended for 24 hours.

Brushing and Cleaning

After the extraction, avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. After that, you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to irritate the site. Beginning 24 hours after the extraction you can rinse with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed.

Dry Socket - dry socket occurs when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged, and the healing is significantly delayed.

Following the post extraction instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain which doesn’t appear until three or four days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry. Dr. Sowmya will apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to soothe the pain.

Healing - After a tooth has been extracted, there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was. In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone. This process can take many weeks or months. However, after 1-2 weeks you should no longer notice any inconvenience

Gum Disease

One of the most common oral health issues is gum (periodontal) disease. It’s also a major cause of tooth loss in adults.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that gum disease—from mild cases of gingivitis to the more severe form known as periodontitis—affects almost half of adults over age 30 and over 70% of adults 65 years of age and older in the U.S. Gum disease is common but largely preventable.

Causes of Periodontal Disease

Gum disease occurs when dental plaque is not removed by brushing your teeth daily. Dental plaque is a sticky substance made from leftover food particles and saliva that grows on surfaces within the mouth. Along with their toxins, bacteria in dental plaque break down gum tissues.

Gingivitis results when your body fires back with an inflammatory response, resulting in red, swollen gums.

Advanced gum disease (periodontitis) infects the tissues that support the teeth. As the tissue is attacked and the infection worsens, tooth loss can result.

Gum Disease Prevention and Treatment

Good oral hygiene can prevent gum disease. Follow these steps to maintain healthy teeth and gums:

  • Practice regular dental care, which includes brushing after every meal and before bedtime, and flossing at least once a day

  • Visit your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning. When plaque accumulates, it can mineralize, trapping stains and turning into tartar. Once tartar has formed, only your dentist or hygienist can remove it


If you develop advanced periodontitis, the bone and supporting tissues around your teeth are affected. Your gums and teeth may need to be treated surgically or removed.

If you notice any of the following warning signs of gum disease, contact your dentist:

  • Red, swollen or tender gums

  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing

  • Gums that pull away from the teeth and/or loose or separating teeth

  • Red, white or swollen areas in any part of your mouth

  • Persistent bad breath


You can have gum disease and not know it. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to other serious medical conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, along with premature delivery and low birth weight babies.

Receding gums

Gum disease can also cause your gums to recede, which exposes the roots of your teeth. Genetics, brushing too hard, hormone levels (during puberty, pregnancy or menopause), using tobacco products, grinding or clenching your teeth, crooked teeth or a misaligned bite are all factors that can play a role in receding gums.

Your dentist can treat mild gum recession by deep cleaning the affected area. Antibiotics also may be prescribed to get rid of any remaining harmful bacteria. If the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed, a procedure to regenerate lost bone and tissue may be recommended.

Good oral hygiene can prevent gum disease

Fortunately, with good oral hygiene, you can prevent gum disease:

  • Practice regular dental care, which includes brushing after every meal and before bedtime, and flossing at least once a day.

  • Visit your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning. When plaque accumulates, it can mineralize, trapping stains and turning into tartar. Once tartar has formed, only your dentist or hygienist can remove it.

If you develop advanced gum disease, the bone and supporting tissues around your teeth are affected. Your gums and teeth may need to be treated surgically or removed.

Treatment options

  • Periodontal pocket reduction: If the gum tissue is not fitting snugly around the tooth and you can’t keep the deep pocket area clean, you may be a candidate for a periodontal pocket reduction. This involves folding back the gum tissue and removing the disease-causing bacteria.

  • Gum grafts: Exposed roots due to gum recession can be covered with gum grafts where tissue is taken from your palate or another source and used to cover the roots of one or more teeth.

  • Bone grafting: This surgical procedure promotes the growth of bone where it’s been destroyed by periodontal disease.

  • Dental implants: If you must have teeth removed, you can be fitted with dental implants.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

To keep gum disease and other oral issues at bay, it’s important to schedule a dental checkup at least twice a year.

Non-Surgical Root Canals


A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges.

At the center of your tooth is pulp. Pulp is a collection of blood vessels that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums.



If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 90% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort. In addition, we will provide nitrous oxide analgesia if indicated. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.


When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact their office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.


The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is affected. In general, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common but treatable disorder that robs patients of their energy levels and raises a long list of health risks. When patients have sleep apnea, their breathing stops repeatedly while they sleep. While awakenings are not always noticed by sufferers, the result is virtual elimination of deep sleep and often very noticeable symptoms.

Patients with sleep apnea frequently have severe fatigue during the daytime. In many cases, patients do not understand why because they seem to sleep for a normal number of hours. Interruption of breathing at night also makes sleep apnea patients breathless the following day, especially in the morning. Although some patients with sleep apnea snore, many do not.

The short-term complications of sleep apnea tend to involve fatigue, which raises risks of deadly accidents. Patients also commonly have low mood and may feel depressed because of incompetence caused by lack of deep sleep. Loss of oxygen can cause sudden cardiac death and heart attack. In the long term, untreated sleep apnea increases risks of heart disease and cancer. This highlights the importance of seeking treatment.


For many years, sleep apnea patients were limited to CPAP as the main treatment for their disorder. CPAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure, works by pumping air into the airway from a bedside machine through a mask that patients wear over their face at night. Now, many patients are seeking dental treatments from our San Francisco sleep apnea dentist instead. These include soft tissue removal, which involves surgical removal of excess tissue from the airway in order to widen it, and oral appliances, which patients wear at night to keep their jaws and tongue from collapsing backwards and causing airway blockage.

Prompt treatment at Cville Dentist can help patients regain a good quality of life and avoid serious complications from this disorder. At a consultation with Dr. Sowmya patients can learn more about the latest sleep apnea treatments.

TMJ-TMD Treatment

TMJ, the common term for temporomandibular joint disorders, refers to conditions involving pain and movement problems in the joints that connect the jaw to the skull. Patients afflicted with TMJ commonly experience pain and grinding feelings in these joints when they open or close their mouth. Causes of TMJ vary widely, but common issues linked to TMJ include teeth grinding, arthritis, and physical trauma. A variety of options are available for TMJ diagnosis and treatment at Cville Dentist

TMJ may develop after long-term stress, gradual deterioration or acute physical injury to the temporomandibular joints. Stress can result in TMJ by causing patients to engage in teeth grinding, which can occur during sleep without patients knowing. The connective tissues that stabilize the temporomandibular joints, like other joints, can be damaged in cases of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Trauma resulting from accidents, assaults, and frequent chewing of tough foods can also harm this joint. In addition to pain and grinding sensations, TMJ sufferers may experience symptoms such as headaches, clicking or popping noises, difficulty chewing food, swelling on one or both sides of the face, problems opening or closing the mouth, and pain around the ears or in the neck.

Dr. Sowmya may diagnose and treat TMJ in a variety of ways depending on symptoms and the findings of an exam. Feeling and listening to the jaw joints while patients open and close their mouth may be used in making a diagnosis of TMJ. X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs may be used to pinpoint the problem. Although surgery may be recommended for severe TMJ, the disorder may also be treated with bite guards, pain relievers, antidepressants, muscle relaxers, and sedatives. Corticosteroid injections are useful in reducing inflammation, and a procedure called arthrocentesis may be used to remove inflammatory substances from the temporomandibular joints.

Patients may be able to relieve TMJ symptoms at home by reducing stress, avoiding overuse of the jaw joints, and using hot or cold compresses on the temporomandibular joints. However, severe TMJ can benefit from diagnosis and treatment. A consultation with Dr. Sowmya can be scheduled to learn more about TMJ and its diagnosis and treatment.

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