Perhaps you’ve come to us because you have a toothache. Or maybe we noticed something amiss during our visual examination, through an X-ray, or with our state-of-the-art DIAGNOdent laser fluorescence cavity detection tool. But however it came to our attention, it’s there. An area of decay in your enamel that must be stopped before it reaches the inner part of the tooth and causes a raging infection.
You have a cavity.
There was a time when you could get a sense of a person’s dental history each time they opened their mouth. Every cavity would be right there on display, a flash of dark metal against a white tooth. Today, some dentists still use these old-style metal, or amalgam, fillings. But at Douglas A. Callow, D.D.S., we prefer a more modern and subtle approach.
We use tooth-colored restorations for the perfect balance of function, durability, and aesthetics. If you think you may have a cavity — or are due for your next cleaning and exam — call our Plymouth, MI dental office at 734-404-7336.
Most cavities require treatment with a standard dental filling. The process for a filling is simple and should take just one visit to our office. First, we will numb your mouth so the procedure is painless. We will use a drill to carefully remove all traces of decay from the tooth. We will shape the opening so that it can easily hold the filling. We will use an acidic gel to prepare the tooth’s surface for the bonding agent. This step helps the filling adhere to the enamel.
We use a composite resin that we are able to match perfectly to the color of your tooth so it’s invisible in your mouth. We apply the composite material, carefully shape it, and harden it with a special light. Your new filling is strong, durable, and will protect your tooth from further decay and infection.
Dental Inlays & Onlays
Sometimes a cavity is too large for a standard filling, but not so big that it requires a dental crown. In this case, you may be a candidate for an inlay or onlay.
The difference between these two restorations is in the coverage they provide. An inlay is smaller, covering the space inside the cusps, or rounded edges, of a tooth’s chewing surface. An onlay covers that area, but also at least one of the cusps or the entire biting surface of the tooth. Onlays are sometimes called “partial crowns.”
The process for getting an inlay or onlay is a bit different than for a filling. It will take two dental visits. First, we will numb the area with local anesthesia. We will then remove the decay from the tooth and take impressions for the creation of your onlay or inlay. We will fill the area with a temporary restoration and send the impressions to our trusted dental lab.
Once your inlay or onlay arrives at our office, we will ensure it’s a perfect fit and bond it securely to your tooth.