Filling - a procedure that is used to treat teeth cavities. A dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then "fill" the area on the tooth where the decayed material once lived. Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse. Most of us have had amalgam fillings (silver). These fillings were what we have called mercury fillings, because all amalgam fillings contained mercury and tended to blacken in color over time. Composite resin dental fillings were created as an alternative to traditional metal dental fillings.
Bonding - a cosmetic procedure that can improve the appearance of teeth that are chipped, broken, cracked, stained, or have spaces between them. With bonding, tooth-colored materials are applied, or bonded, to the tooth surface. Bonding is also used to protect exposed tooth roots that result from gum recession and to fill small cavities. Bonding may not require the use of anesthesia or drilling and can be completed in one visit.
Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are usually placed on the chewing (occlusal) surface of the permanent back teeth to help protect them from decay.
Dental sealants can last for many years. If necessary, it is also possible to place a new dental sealant on the tooth.