Dental fillings play an important role in helping patients of all ages maintain the health, structure, and function of their natural smile. Commonly placed to restore a tooth after decay has been removed, a dental filling can be made from a range of materials depending on your specific needs and aesthetic goals.
Dr. Cook and our dental team place all types of dental fillings in our Chapel Hill dental office, including inlays and onlays for tooth decay and damage in larger molars where chewing forces are the strongest.
If tooth decay is diagnosed, we will often recommend a return visit to place the dental filling unless you are already experiencing discomfort or sensitivity.
The evolution of materials used to address dental concerns has greatly improved the treatment options and results for patients. Modern ceramic and resin materials can be used to successfully place a filling that looks like your natural tooth and provides a durable solution for preventing future decay.
Dr. Cook can replace old, dark or leaking dental fillings with a white composite resin filling or a porcelain inlay or onlay for an instant smile makeover that will also improve your oral health.
Dental Fillings What to Expect
The dental filling process is typically completed in one visit to our office. Most patients are kept comfortable with a local anesthetic but we can work with anxious or fearful patients on an individual basis and offer oral sedation if needed.
Dr. Cook will begin by cleaning and be anesthetizing the area to be treated. Once you are comfortable, he will gently remove any decayed or damaged tooth structure and tissue. The filling material will be sculpted into place and adjustments made for the fit of your bite. The final step is to cure the material with a special light and smooth the surface for a natural feel and appearance.
Once complete, a dental filling will last for many years and will support the integrity of your smile.
Inlays and Onlays
If your tooth decay or damage is considered significant or affecting your ability to chew properly, we may recommend the placement of an inlay or onlay. Also known as partial crowns, these are considered indirect restorations and will require two visits to complete.
The first visit will include tooth preparation and dental impressions. Your custom restoration will be manufactured in a dental lab to Dr. Cook ‘s specifications. Once complete, you will return to the office for final placement. At this time, we will permanently secure the inlay or onlay to restore your smile and your oral health.