What it is:
When a tooth is damaged by decay, trauma or other means it can often be fixed with a filling. Fillings are the fundamental restoration procedure that is done at a dental office.
Decay is the most common need for a filling. When plaque and bacteria are left on a tooth for an extended amount of time, the enamel on the tooth softens allowing access into the second layer of the tooth. If this process is left to continue, decay or a “cavity” will rapidly accelerate into that second layer and possibly even into the pulp or nerve of the tooth. It is always best to catch problems when they are small. Chips, nicks, or pits can be repaired with fillings as well.
Most often the tooth is fixed with a tooth colored resin material that is both strong and esthetic.
An advantage of resin material is that a tooth preparation can be minimally invasive, meaning only decay is removed, and no healthy tooth structure. Resin filling material also is bonded or adhered to the tooth, making it less likely to fracture.