Restorative Dentistry – Cavity Fillings

How Teeth Are Restored

After diagnosing the problem and devising a treatment plan, the next step to restore a tooth to health is to make you comfortable. We will give you a local anesthetic so that you do not feel any discomfort. After the decay is removed, the tooth is ready to receive either a direct restoration or an indirect restoration.

A direct restoration means that the tooth can likely be restored in one visit and that there is sufficient tooth structure for the filling to go inside of the tooth. Examples of direct restorations are Amalgam and Composite Fillings, amalgam fillings, which is silver-colored; and composite fillings, which is tooth-colored. There have been more amalgam fillings placed worldwide than any other kind of filling, but tooth-colored fillings are being placed more frequently in recent years because they match the remaining teeth and look like the natural tooth.

Please see our Dental Fillings Gallery to view the types of results we can achieve with these various materials.

Composite Fillings

Composite fillingsComposite fillings are also called plastic or tooth colored fillings. Getting this kind of filling depends on where the tooth is in your mouth. There is a lot of force applied to the back teeth when we bite, so size and location is important when deciding to use this type of restoration. To place this filling, we remove all decay and other filling material from your tooth. A bonding material is placed and then the composite resin is put into the prepared tooth in thin layers. Each layer gets hard with the help of a special light that we hold over the tooth to cure the material. When the last layer of the filling is hard, we shape the material so it looks and feels natural.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Composite Fillings


  • Single visit
  • Conservative tooth preparation
  • Does not corrode


  • May wear faster than other materials
  • Occasional sensitivity
  • Cost more than amalgam fillings
  • Higher occurrence of recurrent decay