I’ve never really liked to think about the dentist. My childhood memories are of gritty paste left behind after teeth cleanings and far too many tooth fillings and sealants — despite religious daily brushing, my enamel has always been weak. Talk about a perfectionistic kid’s nightmare.
As I got older, I stopped “hating” the dentist but still never looked forward to going. That finally started to change when I found Madison Family Dental last year. I remember leaving my first routine cleaning with Dr. Lindsey Heim’s team feeling astounded by how quick and painless it had been!
Flash forward six months, and it was time for my second dental cleaning with Madison Family Dental. This time, an otherwise pleasant visit came with some unfortunate news: I needed to have an old childhood filling replaced.
Realizing you need to get a dental filling comes with plenty of questions and concerns. How long will it take? Will it hurt? Does my dentist think I don’t take care of my teeth? So here’s the “behind-the-scenes” scoop from the mouth of someone who has sat in that very same dentist’s chair. What is a tooth filling like at Madison Family Dental?
Being told I needed a tooth filling was no big deal
At the end of my regular exam, Dr. Heim simply told me that an old filling in one of my upper-left-side teeth was starting to leak, and it needed to be replaced. She made sure to let me know it wasn’t anything I was doing wrong — it turns out that fillings can just wear out over time like pretty much everything else we own. Dr. Heim walked me through the process right then and there.
Within fifteen minutes, I had a good understanding of what would happen at my filling appointment. On top of that, a Madison Family Dental staff member in the business office had personally walked me through the insurance process.
I wasn’t exactly happy that I needed a tooth filling, but at least I knew what to expect.
The actual filling process was fast and easy
Two weeks later, I arrived early for my appointment. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but I didn’t have much time to overthink in the waiting room before Dr. Heim’s assistant Julie called me back.
I had the opportunity to ask any questions as Dr. Heim and Julie walked me through the process one more time. After making sure I was all the way numb, we got to work.
Or should I say… Dr. Heim got to work. I laid back and tried to relax, doing everything in my power to tune out the sound of the drill. Thankfully, I couldn’t feel a thing even though I could hear it, so it was pretty easy to pretend that nothing was going on. Both Dr. Heim and Julie checked in regularly to make sure I was still comfortable.
While I zoned out, Dr. Heim drilled into my existing filling and replaced the white resin (also called composite) material. She and Julie used a special light to bond the filling to my tooth, and before I knew it the whole thing was over. Phew!
Recovering from my tooth filling wasn’t so bad, either
Dr. Heim and Julie provided me with some aftercare instructions for my filling before I left the office. Because they used resin as opposed to the traditional metal called amalgam to restore my tooth, I was able to eat and drink normally as soon as my anesthetic wore off (after about three and a half hours, which is within the typical 1-4 hour range).
I was nervous that I’d be in pain once the numbness was gone, but I was pleasantly surprised. My jaw was sensitive from being held open for so long, but the filling didn’t hurt at all! On the very same evening of my appointment, I went to a dinner event with some coworkers and enjoyed all the food just as I normally would.
No bad taste left behind: the experience was actually good
It sounds weird to say (especially from someone who’s always cringed at the thought of going to the dentist) but I have to admit that my tooth filling appointment at Madison Family Dental was as close to “enjoyable” as I think dental work can be.
From actually working on my tooth to taking the time to make sure I understood my insurance coverage, Dr. Heim and the entire Madison Family Dental Team were wonderful.