Dr. Shoaf commonly uses fillings made from amalgam and composite resin to repair a small to medium-sized cavity. While these special materials are known to be impervious to bacterial decay, the surrounding tooth enamel can still be susceptible. The passage of time and any inconsistencies in your daily oral hygiene routine can encourage the natural bacteria in your mouth to attack the bond between the filling and the remainder of the tooth.
Without professional attention, the bacteria could infiltrate the tooth enamel adjacent to the filling. This could cause a new cavity to form. When this happens, you might notice a slight graying in the surrounding tooth enamel, heightened sensitivity, or a change in texture when you feel it with your tongue.
To treat a tooth with a distressed filling, Dr. Shoaf might recommend a total dental crown restoration. Your dentist will start by examining the tooth to assess the severity of the decay. If the tooth does indeed need a crown, Dr. Shoaf will then use a drill to remove the entire tooth enamel layer and the old filling. This will leave a small, post-shaped structure, which is known as an abutment, that will eventually anchor your crown.
A detailed impression will be made of the abutment and any other related teeth in the area. This will be sent to our dental lab where your final crown will be made. Then a hard, plastic, temporary crown will be cemented over the abutment to protect it.
Dr. Shoaf will need you to come in for a second appointment when your new crown is ready. This will be brief as the temporary crown will be removed and Dr. Shoaf will cement your new crown onto the abutment.
If you live in the Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, area and you have a tooth with a suspicious filling, you should call 412-253-4671 to have it examined, treated, and repaired at Complete Dental Care.