Dental Fillings: For the Holes in Your Teeth

A cavity is a hole in your tooth caused by decay, and if left untreated, the infection can completely consume the tooth until it falls out or requires an extraction. Before it becomes so severe, however, Dr. Van Wicklen can usually treat mild to moderate cavities with restorative dental fillings. A dental filling describes cleaning and sanitizing a tooth cavity, then filling it with tooth-colored composite resin to seal and protect the rest of the tooth. The resin is tinted to the specific color and shade of your natural teeth, and bonded to the tooth’s surface to create a discreet and highly-effective restoration.

The Reason for Filling Cavities

Cavities begin when oral bacteria consume sugar and other carbohydrates, and then convert them into organic acid. The acid weakens the enamel surrounding your teeth while depleting teeth of minerals so they can’t replenish their protective outer layer. Excessive snacking and poor dental hygiene can lead to overwhelming amounts of acid that can compromise your tooth enamel, allowing bacteria to enter and infect the tooth. A cavity, or hole, forms in your tooth as the bacterial infection spreads, and a dental filling is often the best choice for restoring the tooth and stopping the infection.

The Tooth-Colored Filling

Amalgam fillings, or silver fillings, have been popular for over a hundred years, but Dr. Van Wicklen typically prefers to utilize white fillings made of biocompatible composite resin. Unlike amalgam, which is a mixture of different metals, white fillings consists of acrylic and ceramic particles that are tinted to match your tooth’s color and shade. The composite can also be bonded to your tooth, creating a tighter seal that prevents bacteria from entering and reinfecting the tooth’s interior. If you have a cavity, or if you’re considering replacing an old metal filling, then speak with Dr. Van Wicklen about the benefits of tooth-colored fillings.


Since 1985, Dr. Steven Van Wicklen has been providing expert general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry services to patients and families in Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Bastrop, Bee Cave, Cedar Park, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an emergency dental visit, call our office immediately at (512) 448-3131.