If a tooth is damaged by decay, a filling can repair the area of weakness to its healthy function and shape. Dr. Angart will remove the decay, clean the affected area, and then fill the now clean cavity to close cracks and spaces. We use the DEXIS CariVu™ to detect early-stage decay with 99% accuracy to allow on-the-spot diagnosis and an immediate plan of action.
When it comes to dental fillings, there are many options. Traditional fillings have been made from gold or silver amalgam (which is made from mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc). Advancements in materials now used for fillings include porcelain, ceramics, or composite resin. To determine what material to use, we will consider the extent of the repair, where in your mouth the filling is needed, and the cost.
Any signs of a cavity that the CariVu™ detects will then be closely monitored with special instruments. It may be necessary to X-ray your mouth to get a better idea of the full picture. The type of treatment your dentist chooses will depend on the extent of damage caused by the decay.
When it’s time to get your filling, if indicated, we may administer local anesthesia to keep you comfortable and pain-free. The anesthesia will numb the area around the tooth being filled, and you may experience numbness on an entire side of your mouth. Many times fillings can be placed without a local anesthetic with use of our Waterlase laser technology.
Once the anesthesia has taken effect, Dr. Angart will thoroughly remove the decay and clean the area before moving to the next step. He will then shape the space in the tooth so that it’s ready for the filling material. To make sure that the tooth securely responds to the filling material, Dr. Angart may roughen the surface of your tooth with a gel in order to allow for a stronger bond between the tooth and the filling. Once the filling is in place, Dr. Angart may finish it off with resin and harden it with a special light to keep it strong and secure.