Dental Fillings

Dental Fillings

Dr. Mary Ellen Wynn showing a dental tech x-ray results

Cavities are one of the most common oral problems in the nation. In fact, according to statistics by the Center for Disease Control, more than 90 percent of U.S. adults between the ages of 20-64 have had cavities.


If you are one of the millions affected by dental decay, a filling may be the perfect solution to save and protect your natural teeth.


What does a filling procedure involve?

Treatment always begins with a consultation with Dr. Wynn and her caring staff. They will discuss the details of your oral health and go over the recommended treatment options.


Once treatment begins, a local anesthetic will be applied to the affected area. Any decayed or damaged material will be carefully removed and the remaining tooth structure will be cleaned. There are three types of fillings that can be used, depending on the extent of the damage and the location of the tooth. Once the filling has been applied it will be shaped to match the rest of your tooth before being permanently “set” or hardened.


What are the differences between fillings and onlays?

There are three main types of dental fillings. These include:


  • Metal amalgam
  • Tooth-colored resin
  • Dental porcelain/ceramic (Onlays)


Amalgam is a mixture of metals that is applied to the surface of the tooth. These metals are safe and durable. Amalgam can withstand high pressure making it ideal for the molars at the back of the mouth.


Resin is made to match the color of your teeth. It is comprised of ground acrylic and quartz-like particles. The resin provides a natural, realistic look while effectively protecting your teeth from further decay.


Porcelain/ceramic fillings are also referred to as onlays. Like resin, they are made to match the color and structure of your surrounding teeth. Onlays are recommended for teeth in the back of the mouth since they are significantly stronger than resin fillings. These special fillings can last significantly longer than others, depending on how well they are cared for.


What do dental fillings do?

Dental fillings serve a variety of functions. Primarily, they are used to fill the gaps left in a tooth’s structure after decay is removed. Once fillings are placed, they also act as a seal to the affected parts of the tooth. This means that the bacteria responsible for damage and decay can no longer reach the sensitive parts of the tooth.


For more extensive damage, Dr. Wynn may recommend other treatment options such as the placement of a porcelain crown.


If you think you may need a filling or onlay treatment, contact our office for more information. We will be happy to schedule a consultation to discuss your treatment options.

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