Animated Image of a dental filling

A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cavity with a filling material. A filling also helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.

Today, most fillings are either plastic know as composite or special dental porcelain that can be bonded to teeth. The dentist will work with you to determine which material is best for you depending on the extent of repair, location where filling is needed, and cost. Each of the filling materials is briefly explained below:

Composite Fillings

Composite (plastic) resins are custom made to the exact color of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance. Composite fillings usually last between 3 and 10 years. They may not be ideal for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea, or tobacco.

Composite Filling

Composite Versus Amalgam Filling

Porcelain Fillings

Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are custom created in a lab, and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth and are stain-resist. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.

Porcelain Crown (Onlay/Inlay) - Impression Method

Porcelain Crown (Inlay) - CAD/CAM Method

Porcelain Crown (Onlay) - CAD/CAM Method