You’re sitting in your dentist’s chair for your checkup, and you hear the dreaded words that you have a cavity. Is it really a cause for panic? Modern advances in equipment and methods may surprise you about what really happens when you get a filling. Let’s learn what to expect if you need this procedure.
The first thing you and your dentist will discuss is the type of filling that is best for you. One choice is an amalgam filling. It is known for its durability, but contains a small amount of mercury which raises concerns among some patients. Another option is a resin composite filling, which is a newer material that contains more plastics. Many patients like this option because its white color is less noticeable in your mouth, but it lasts only about half as long as an amalgam filling.
The first step of the process is numbing the area, unless the cavity is very small and it’s unnecessary. First, the dentist will rub a topical numbing agent on the area, and will give you an injection after it takes effect. Many patients don’t even feel the injection after the topical numbing.
Next, the dentist will separate the area being worked on from the rest of your mouth using a rubber dam or a bite block. Once your mouth is ready, your tooth will be drilled and the decay will be removed.
The actual filling will be placed after the decay is gone. If you are receiving an amalgam filling, the hole will be filled with the metals. It will be pushed down to ensure all of the space is full, and then any overflow will be removed to make the tooth smooth. If you are getting a composite filling instead, the dentist will put some blue acid in the hole to create small holes for bonding the material. The acid is then rinsed, and a bonding agent is applied. Then the composite material will be added. A blue light will be used to harden and strengthen the material. Finally, the filling will be filed to make it smooth.
Many types of cosmetic dentistry procedures such as crowns, bridges, tooth implants, or other invasive procedures require some kind of anesthesia in order to be performed in comfort for the patient. Even a procedure like porcelain dental veneers can be aided by the addition of some kind of sedation dentistry, especially if the patient is experiencing anxiety or fear regarding the treatment. For any patient seeking a more relaxed cosmetic dental experience, sedation dentistry presents several options.
Inhaled sedation, or nitrous oxide, is more commonly known as “laughing gas.” It is inhaled via a mask and is controlled by your dentist. It is a light sedation, and allows you to remain completely responsive and compliant to instruction. Nitrous oxide sedation wears off quickly; because of this, you may be able to drive yourself home after your treatment.
Conscious oral sedation reduces your anxiety while still allowing for responsiveness to requests and directions. Oral sedatives are typically prescribed in pill form, and can be taken up to an hour before your dental procedure. Some dentists believe that taking a mild oral sedative the night before treatment can alleviate anxiety and ensure proper rest. You should not drive yourself home if you have taken an oral sedative for your dental treatment. You will not be fully alert.
IV sedation is also known as “sleep dentistry.” It provides the most relaxed dental experience, allowing you to be deeply sedated while never completely unconscious. A natural effect of the drugs is full or partial memory loss of the time during its use, so you may have no memories of your procedure. You should never drive following IV sedation, and you may not be fully alert for several hours. Plan to go home, rest, and sleep.
Your cosmetic dentist wants you to be comfortable throughout your dental therapy and will know which sedation dentistry option is right for your particular cosmetic dentistry procedure. Talk to your cosmetic dentist today about any concerns you have regarding your treatment so that you may have the most positive, pain and anxiety-free experience possible.
We look forward to seeing you in our Morehead City dental office
Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. Like natural teeth, dental implants require vigilant oral care to maintain their usefulness and prevent problems. Once the implant has fused to the jaw bone, it is important to follow some general guidelines to ensure the continued success of your dental implant and restoration.
A condition known as peri-implantitis is a common cause of implant failure. This occurs when an accumulation of plaque leads to damage of the tissues and infection of the bone around the implant. While the implant itself is not susceptible to decay, if plaque is not removed with thorough brushing and flossing at least twice per day the resulting periodontal disease can lead to implant failure.
Your dental professional may also recommend the use of additional oral hygiene products such as special brushes or oral irrigation devices to aid in the removal of food debris and plaque around the areas of the implant supported restorations. Your dentist or hygienist can assist in teaching you to utilize these devices to improve your implant care.
Regular dental visits and examinations are vital to detect and prevent any issues that may present problems for your dental implants. Expect to visit your dentist every 3 months for the first year after implant placement, and then every six months for the life of your implants. Your dentist will also provide special care instructions if your implants are being used to support a removable denture. It is important to know how to place and remove the appliance without causing damage to either the denture or your implant.
Avoid applying excessive pressure or eating hard foods that could cause damage to the restoration and implant area. If you suffer from conditions like teeth grinding or clenching, discuss with your dentist the option of being fitted for a night guard to prevent the problems these habits can cause your implants. Taking excellent care of your oral health will help to ensure years of dental implant success.
We treat patients from Morehead City and the surrounding area
Porcelain veneers can transform your smile from one that embarrasses you to one that you’re proud to show off. A thin shell of porcelain is bonded onto the fronts of your teeth to improve the shape and color. If you’re looking to close gaps between your teeth, reshape your teeth, or brighten stained teeth, porcelain veneers may be your answer. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about veneers.
How do veneers work?: Made from durable and natural-looking porcelain, veneers are customized to fit your teeth. Your face shape, skin tone, eyes, height, and even your personality are considered when designing your dental veneers. They are bonded securely to your teeth to give you the smile you always wanted.
Is it a long process to get them?: The process for getting veneers usually takes about four to six weeks. At your first appointment, your teeth will be shaped and their surface will be slightly roughened. Impressions will be taken to create models of your mouth so that the veneers can be personalized for you. At the next appointment, your teeth will be cleaned and polished before a special adhesive is used to bond the veneers to your teeth. A high-intensity light is used to set the adhesive.
What will my teeth look like while I’m waiting for veneers?: After your teeth have been prepared for veneers, usually you will be fitted with specialized temporary veneers. These interim veneers look better than your original teeth, so you won’t feel self-conscious during the waiting period.
How long do veneers last?: Porcelain veneers typically last from ten to twenty years. Porcelain is very strong and durable, and resistant to stains and wear.
What are the advantages to veneers?: Since the bond to your original teeth is strong, porcelain veneers can be treated just like your own teeth. They appear very natural because the porcelain looks similar to your tooth enamel. Veneers can also protect your teeth from further damage if they are chipped or worn down, so they not only cover your teeth with a layer of protection but also create a beautiful bright smile.
If you need a dentist in Morehead City contact us today