Dental fillings repair teeth that have been damaged by decay or trauma.

The decayed or damaged portion of the tooth is removed, and the resulting cavity is filled with dental filling material, either silver amalgam fillings or white composite resin fillings. The filling restores the tooth’s shape, function, and strength and helps prevent further decay or damage.

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The filling used depends on the location and extent of the damage, the patient’s preference, and the dentist’s recommendation. Silver amalgam fillings are usually recommended when faced with the difficulty of isolating the teeth from saliva and water, such as the last posterior teeth. White composite resin fillings are very technique-sensitive and need the tooth to be in a completely dry environment to have good adhesion and bond to the tooth for long-lasting results. Composite fillings are popular because they can be made to match the color of the natural tooth closely and are more aesthetically pleasing than traditional amalgam fillings. Regardless of the filling, post-operative sensitivity may always occur after a filling is placed, particularly if the filling is large and close to the nerve.

Not all composite products are created equal. At Ignite Dental, we utilize top-of-the-line materials in the market, such as Filtek from 3M, G-aerial from GC America, and Clearfil from Kuraray.  Additionally, our bonding technique includes multiple steps, such as using air abrasion and dental primer to help achieve optimal adhesion and prevent post-operative sensitivity.

The above-mentioned fillings are considered direct fillings; another type of fillings are indirect fillings called inlay and onlays.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and Onlays

An inlay is a type of restoration that repairs a decayed or damaged area within the cusps of a tooth. It is typically made of porcelain, ceramic, composite resin, or gold and is custom-made to fit the shape and size of the prepared cavity. Inlays are bonded to the tooth with dental cement and are known for their strength, durability, and natural appearance.

Onlays, on the other hand, are used to repair larger areas of damage or decay that extends beyond the cusps of the tooth, essentially restoring one or more cusp of a tooth. They are also made of porcelain, ceramic, composite resin, or gold and are custom-made to fit the shape and size of the prepared cavity. Onlays cover more surface area than inlays and can provide additional support and protection to the damaged tooth. Like inlays, onlays are bonded to the tooth with dental cement.

Restoring a tooth with an inlay or onlay usually takes two appointments. The first appointment consists of preparing the tooth, and a digital scan or impression of the tooth is taken and sent to the dental lab for the restoration to be fabricated. The second appointment will be the seating and delivery of the restoration onto the patient’s tooth. Between appointments, the prepared area of the tooth will be filled with a temporary filling material.

Both inlays and onlays are considered conservative treatments, as they preserve more natural tooth structure than traditional dental crowns. However, they need certain criteria to be met to be considered a viable treatment option compared to a crown. They are also more durable and long-lasting than dental fillings and can improve the function and appearance of a damaged or decayed tooth. However, they require more preparation and laboratory time than dental fillings and can be more expensive.



Teeth bonding, also known as dental bonding, is a cosmetic dental procedure that involves the application of a tooth-colored resin material to the surface of the tooth to improve its appearance. It is generally termed “bonding” because the filling material is “bonded” to a tooth surface without decay.  The resin material is applied to the tooth and then shaped and polished to blend in with the surrounding teeth, improving the appearance of chipped, cracked, and worn-down teeth. Teeth bonding can also close gaps between teeth, reshape teeth, or protect exposed tooth roots.

The procedure is relatively quick and painless and usually does not require anesthesia. However, the results of teeth bonding may not be as long-lasting as other cosmetic dental procedures, such as veneers, and the bonded tooth may be more susceptible to discoloration and chipping.