“Grandpa, your teeth are black”
Kids say the darndest things, as Art Linkletter used to say. Sometimes they’re so painfully true that it gives you pause!
My wife and I were up in Fort Collins attending the fourth birthday party of our grandson, Kiefer. We played it up, putting on the silly hats and taking turns swiping at the piñata. Kiefer sat on my lap while we ate our cake and ice cream, staring at me in that four-year-old way, and then he said, “Grandpa, when you open your mouth, the teeth in the front are white, but the teeth in the back are black.”
He was referring to the big, old “silver fillings” in my back teeth. I had been told that they would eventually need to be replaced, since they do wear out in time, so I did a little research and discovered that amalgam is a dental material made of a 50/50 mix of mercury and silver. I also discovered that the new composite filling materials, made of porcelain and resin, are white, and every bit as durable as the old amalgam—perhaps even more so. As amalgam fillings age, they darken and stain your teeth gray, making your teeth “look black,” as Kiefer so innocently pointed out. A good look in the mirror made me realize that my back teeth do show when I laugh or talk, and black teeth aren’t flattering!
I later made an appointment with Dr. Tom Hughes here in Monument, as I had heard that he provided family dental care with great concern for the esthetic result. Again, I did some research and discovered that getting the best results with these new composite filling materials requires that the dentist has a high degree of expertise. Experience matters, in other words. I felt confident when I found that Dr. Hughes has not only practiced advanced adhesion dental techniques for decades but that he’s taught them and has published numerous articles in dental journals regarding their use.
Dr. Hughes’ office is well run, with a friendly and efficient staff, minimal wait time, and lots of “before and after” pictures to help you understand the types of dental treatment possible today. Removing my old amalgams and replacing them with new porcelain-resin composite took a couple of visits, but I was completely comfortable and in very capable hands. I couldn’t be happier with my new fillings, which are solid, not sensitive to hot or cold foods…and white. My new fillings should last until after Kiefer graduates from college.
We are very fortunate to have access to the very latest dental procedures through Dr. Hughes.
Tuesday - Thursday
8:30 am - 5:00 pm