What is a filling?

A step by step process for restoring a tooth with a filling

When we are doing work on patients at Kaufman Dentistry, we often like to snap a few pictures during the procedure so that our patients can appreciate what is actually going on in their mouths. We have decided to incorporate a few cases onto the website so that everyone can start to understand what we are doing during different dental procedures.

The first procedure we are going to display is the basic Class 1, or chewing surface tooth colored filling.  This photo is the first one we took. It shows the basic outline form of the preparation. You can appreciate the dark brown decay in the tooth which was the reason we decided that work needed to be done on this tooth in the first place.

S11With a slow speed drill and hand instruments, decay is removed. Notice that there is still some brown stain left behind. Decay is measured by hardness of the tooth structure not color. This tooth is cleaned out and ready to restore.

Once the tooth is ready to restore, it has to be prepared to accept and bond to the filling material. The blue paste you see below is an acid which microscopically etches the tooth, creating tiny little potholes which help retain the restoration. This step is followed by the application of an adhesive which will connect the filling to the etched surface of the tooth.
The final photo is of the completed restoration. The basic shape of the tooth is retained while providing a long lasting functional restoration on this tooth.
To understand the causes of decay, please see our article HERE