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Even though a filling that repairs a cavity is meant to last for a long time, on a long enough timeline it can be lost. As time goes on the natural bacteria in your mouth can slowly attack the cement holding the filling in the cavity and weakening its bond to the surrounding tooth enamel. The larger and older a filling is more likely to be lost. Sometimes Dr. Joe Rigg can apply a new filling to repair the area.

Unfortunately, there are some cases where there simply isn’t enough strong enamel to anchor a replacement filling. Dr. Joe Rigg might recommend having the entire enamel layer of the tooth restored with a crown.

A crown effectively restores a tooth by replacing the enamel layer with an artificial material, such as gold, base metals or porcelain. Restoring a tooth with a crown usually involves two separate appointments.

At the first appointment, Dr. Joe Rigg inspects the tooth, to assess the overall health of the tooth and any existing decay. If the decay extends beyond the enamel layer, he might need to perform a root canal to provide enough healthy structure to anchor a crown.

Next, Dr. Joe Rigg will form an abutment by using a drill to remove the majority of the enamel layer. This leaves behind a small amount to protect the dentin and pulp of the tooth. Later on this abutment, will anchor your new crown.

An impression is then taken of the area, which is sent to a dental lab, that makes your new crown. Dr. Joe Rigg will then cement a temporary crown over the abutment to keep it safe, while you wait for your new crown to be done.

Once the dental lab has completed your new crown, Dr. Joe Rigg will call you in for a short second appointment. The temporary crown is removed and your new permanent crown is cemented in place.

If you have a tooth that has recently lost a filling, you should call Dr. Joe Rigg at 605-225-2050 to schedule an appointment.