Fillings Specialist

Fillings are an effective, convenient way to treat cavities. Dr. Potesta-Knoll is a skilled provider of different types of fillings for patients in and around San Francisco, California.

Fillings Q & A

What is a composite filling?

Also called a tooth-colored filling or white filling, a composite filling is one which is made of a durable compound that can be shaped and tinted to match your surrounding tooth material, so the resulting restoration is virtually invisible. Unlike metal amalgam fillings which are highly visible and become darker over time, composite fillings remain essentially undetectable to anyone but your dentist, helping you preserve the look of a healthy smile.

How are fillings applied?

Once your teeth have been evaluated and X-rayed to determine the extent of the decayed portion, special instruments will be used to remove the decay while leaving the surrounding healthy tooth material untouched. The treatment area will be carefully cleaned and then the filling material will be “flowed” onto the surface of the tooth. Once the material is applied, it will be shaped to provide a comfortable, natural fit. Some composite fillings use a special light to cure and harden the filling once it's in place. Prior to treatment, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth.

Are composite fillings better than traditional metal amalgam fillings?

Because they can be tinted and shaped to look like your natural tooth, composite fillings help many patients feel more confident and more attractive following a restoration. Plus, some research indicates composites may bond better with the tooth surface, helping to prevent decay-causing bacteria from “seeping in” around the edges of the restoration, so your tooth stays healthy. However, composite fillings tend to be more costly than metal amalgams, so it's important to check with your insurance provider prior to treatment to avoid surprises. Our office staff can also check your insurance coverage for you.

What kinds of symptoms do cavities cause?

Most cavities cause pain or aching in or around the tooth, sometimes extending into the gum. You may also have sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, and if the cavity is very large, you may be able to see it or feel it with your tongue. Some cavities cause few symptoms or symptoms that can “come and go.” Having routine exams every six months is the best way to detect cavities in their earliest stages so they can be treated to prevent additional damage including infection, tooth breakage, and tooth loss.


At our San Francisco dental office, we are committed to helping our patients afford high-quality dental care. We are in network with Delta Dental Premier dental insurance and CIGNA PPO; we welcome you to contact us to learn more about dental insurance benefits. We also accept the following forms of payment:

Credit cards

CareCredit, a third-party financing company, provides no- and low-interest payment plans. For more information on our financial options, we invite you to contact our dental office today. Our friendly dental team is happy to answer your questions!

Cigna PPO
Delta Dental Premier

Words from our patients

  • "I've been a patient here for well over 20 years & I can't imagine having my dental care performed anywhere else. You could not be in better hands."

    Peter B.
  • "Outstanding service. Very professional operation & they treat patients very well. The office is beautiful and the dentists and staff are extremely competent and caring."

    Robert O.
  • "I had my teeth cleaned by Stephanie, as usual. She does an excellent job, both thorough as well as comfortable. She's a really nice person too!"

    Stephen P.
  • "As always, Dr. Potesta-Knoll's office was friendly, efficient and one of the best dentist offices in San Francisco."

    Marty C.
  • "Stephanie & Dr. Podesta were great as usual as were Erika & Ada. Always a professional & pleasant experience as going to the dentist can be."

    Norman C.
  • "Dr. Potesta, Karen, Sue, Bella, and the rest of the staff are excellent, thorough, and friendly. Great atmosphere, and they always treat me like a VIP!"

    Katherine M.
  • "Had my 3 wisdom teeth removed and let me tell you my experience was great as a first timer here. Very friendly staff with such great service with an amazing view..."

    Arvin M.
  • "Well versed in major treatments. Very good in her diagnosis and follow through. Excellent background in various dental procedures."

    Michael J.
  • "Amazing expertise and service! I needed help with a chipped tooth and felt like a new person after leaving. So happy with my experience."

    Amy L.
  • "Dr Potesta-Knoll knows what she is doing. I did not feel anything more than a pinch. Her staff is wonderful and helpful."

    Mark R.
  • Friendly reception, Thorough yet relaxing cleaning, and efficient dealing with dental issues!

    Jan V.
  • Dr. Potesta-Knoll was wonderfully responsive to my dental problem during a long holiday weekend. Outstanding service as usual!

  • She always welcomes me by name and has a friendly comment or two about life, so that the visit has a personal touch, not just professional services.

    Suzanne D.
Fiorella Potesta-Knoll, DDS, MS
2001 Union Street, Suite #680

San Francisco, CA 94123
Phone: 415-776-4040
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