Have you ever noticed a hole or a dark spot on one or more of your teeth? Or, instead of seeing something, you might feel increased sensitivity to cold or hot drinks. Any of these signs or symptoms could be due to a “cavity,” or decay on one of your teeth.
Decay is like rust – once it’s there, it will keep spreading and destroying the tooth unless it is completely removed. Once the decay is gone, we can then put in a filling, or restoration. We primarily use either resin (tooth colored fillings) or amalgam (metal fillings). For situations where the decay is extensive, please see Crowns, Root Canals, or Extractions.
While metal fillings have gotten some bad press lately, the American Dental Association stands by them as a safe and solid filling material. (Even Dr. Lee has a few in his mouth!) Of course, we want to hear what your preferences are as we make our recommendations. Each tooth and situation is different, and we want to pick the best material for the job.
What’s a Filling Visit Like?
Once we’ve diagnosed one of your teeth with decay and we’ve made a treatment plan, your next visit would be to treat the cavity. These are the typical steps in the visit:
- Consent and Vitals – We get your written permission to perform the treatment and then we get your blood pressure and heart rate.
- Anesthetic – Unless the filling is a very small spot, we usually have to get patients numb. Yes, this means the needle, unfortunately. We are very gentle, however, and will use techniques that help minimize any discomfort.
- Removal of Decay – This is when we remove all of the decayed areas and create a shape that will hold the filling well.
- Restoration – Now we fill in the area we just cleaned out with either resin (tooth colored) or amalgam (metal). Generally, we use resin for the front teeth and amalgam for the back teeth.
- Adjustment and Polish – Finally, we make sure the filling looks and feels good, especially to your bite.
What About a Chipped Tooth?
Resin fillings are great for front teeth that get chipped, broken, or even stained. We can usually pick a shade that matches your natural tooth color well and place a filling that blends in and looks lifelike.
I’m Nervous! Can You Help?
We have televisions above each chair so you can watch your favorite channel to get your mind off of things. We also offer laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, to help you relax. It’s really safe, and the effects wear off in seconds so you can drive home after your appointment.
I Need Some Teeth Fixed
Please call our Canon City office at 719-285-4784. Our staff will make an appointment for you to have an examination and treatment plan with one of our doctors, and we’ll get you going toward a beautiful and healthy smile!