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Fillings are done to remove decay and replace the affected tooth structure. It is called a filling because a new material fills the hole that decay left. We use only mercury-free bonded tooth-colored composite fillings. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If left untreated, decay can lead to tooth pain and/or infection and the tooth would need root canal treatment or extraction.

Bonding repairs damage done to the tooth by decay, alters the alignment of the tooth, or closes gaps between the teeth. The procedure involves adhering, or "bonding", tooth-colored composite material to the front or sides of the tooth. First the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding and hold it. A primer/bond agent is applied so the material adheres to the surface. Then the material itself is placed on the tooth and hardened with intense non-UV blue light. The bonding is then shaped and polished.

A BPA-free resin sealant is used to seal newly-erupted molars in children to prevent decay. The sealant is fills in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque because they're too narrow to allow even one toothbrush bristle into them. These will develop cavities over time unless they are sealed. A coating seals the grooves and pits, making it possible for your child to brush off all the plaque and keep his/her teeth healthy more easily.

The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for ones teeth. All structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium (gum disease) may be as follows: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. Any of these signs may mean something is wrong.

We have an excellent program in our hygiene department that allows us to keep mostpatientswith mild to moderate gum disease right here in our office with the same provider. Treating gum disease usually initially involves a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) done while you are comfortably numb under a local anesthetic. Sometimes local antibiotic agents are used for deeper pockets around teeth. Occaionally, a patient's gum disease is too severe to be treated inside a general practice and they need to be referred to a specialist.

DIGITAL X-RAYS      In our office, we use digital radiography which allows us to take x-rays using 50-70% less radiation versus conventional x-rays. Digital is faster and safer. Coupled with computer monitoring, digital x-ray technology allows us to enhance the images for better diagnosis of any dental concerns.

Some patients are still leary about the thought of ANY x-rays, but sometimes just looking in the mouth doesn't provide the dentist enough information to rule out a problem. X-rays are a necessary part of the diagnostic process because they allow the dentist to diagnose disease by making pictures of the inside of your tooth and jaw. Without an x-ray of the whole tooth and supporting bone, there is no real way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.


Contact Dr. Cassandra Coakley and Dr. Kelly Fitzgerald Burns at Main Street Family Dentistry

for your Montpelier dentist and Montpelier family dentist needs.

152 Main Street
Montpelier, VT 05602