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A dental filling is intended to repair a cavity or other modest-sized area of tooth decay. As time passes, the bacteria in your mouth can actually start to attack the seam where the filling is bonded to the healthy tooth enamel. If the bacteria eventually gain access, they can cause additional pockets of tooth decay within the enamel, causing the cement holding the filling to fail.

When a filling is lost, there might not be sufficient enamel remaining for Dr. Kent Stapley or Dr. Nathan Kitchen to cement a new filling. In a case like this, our dentist might recommend restoring the entire enamel layer of the tooth with a crown.

The process begins with our dentist examining the tooth and taking some X-rays. This helps to determine if the decay has penetrated the pulp or root of the tooth. If the decay runs deep into the tooth he might first need to perform a root canal to replace the decayed internal structures.

As long as the decay is limited to the enamel layer of the tooth, he will remove all of the tooth enamel leaving behind an abutment. This little post-like structure made from the core of your tooth will eventually serve to anchor the crown in place.

A detailed impression is then taken of the abutment and any other related teeth. The abutment is then covered by a temporary crown and the impression is sent off to our dental lab where your crown is made.

When your crown is ready we will call you back in for a brief follow-up appointment. The temporary crown is removed and your new permanent crown is cemented onto the abutment.

If you have a bad or missing filling, we invite you to call our dental office in Mesa, Arizona at 480-830-8946 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kent Stapley or Dr. Nathan Kitchen. Our goal is to make sure your smile is healthy and confident!