Fillings conservatively rebuild the natural, brilliant appearance and health of a decayed tooth

At West Suburban Oral Health Care, we appreciate the value of ongoing partnerships between our professional team and our patients — extended members of our dental family! Our dentists in Naperville, Illinois, Drs. Susan Mazzei, Kelsey Esposito, and Ashley Nguyen, and provide guidance on techniques and products to retain the health of your teeth. They also use their expertise and advanced technologies to detect enamel erosion and other damage early, when more conservative procedures are recommended to restore the health of the affected tooth. No restorative treatment may be needed to remineralize the teeth and build up their healthy structure.

Fillings treatment

Fillings are generally considered to be a conservative restorative treatment. Their function is in the name: A dental material is prepared and shaped to literally “fill in” the damaged surfaces of the teeth. Damage can arise as the result of lingering food particles and harmful bacteria. These substances produce plaque that can then harden into tartar. The decay process erodes at the teeth. Enamel erosion occurs earlier in the process, and a small cavity or hole may develop in the tooth. Fillings, in turn, replace the damaged or missing tooth structure and are considered a go-to way to repair cavities.

What to expect

If fillings are appropriate for you, the treated teeth are “prepared.” Any diseased tissue is removed. The tooth is also cleaned to provide a fresh slate for your rebuilt tooth. The structure of the remaining surrounding natural tooth is also used to help create the filling that will be placed within it, which must blend in with the existing structure. Many different materials, from metals to non-metals such as ceramics and resins, can be used. Composite resin and dental porcelain are among the most coveted materials to rebuild tooth structure because they get along so well with surrounding natural tissues. They also look like real teeth. Less alteration of the natural tooth is also required to accommodate the filling. So, non-metals are primarily conservative and preserve maximum healthy tooth material.

The filling is then precisely placed to build up and restore the damaged area. It is eventually bonded or secured to the tooth before being refined and polished. Depending on the type of material used, the material may be applied in layers and then hardened as each layer is affixed to the tooth. This approach allows for a secure bond and is also particularly conservative. All treatments are well-tolerated with localized anesthetic applied to the treatment site. Treated teeth hold up well for years to come, as long as you maintain excellent oral hygiene at home and professional visits to our practice.

Not all patients’ teeth are great candidates for fillings. Some large cavities may be better served with inlays, onlays (partial crowns), or complete dental crowns. To find out more, schedule an appointment at our office in Naperville. Call West Suburban Oral Health Care at 630-393-3045.

Dr. Susan Mazzei, West Suburban Oral Health Care
Dr. Kelsey Esposito, West Suburban Oral Health Care
Dr. Marco Fajardo, West Suburban Oral Health Care
Dr. Ashley Nguyen, West Suburban Oral Health Care

Dr. Susan Mazzei is a skilled dentist specializing in prosthodontics. A graduate of Northwestern University Dental School, she completed a Certification in Prosthodontics before joining the faculty of Northwestern University Dental School as a Clinical Assistant Professor, where she served for 12 years and became Assistant Professor Emeritus. Dr. Mazzei believes that excellent oral health begins with education and prevention and is committed to continuing her education. She is a Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach, a Charter Fellow in the American Academy of Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH), and has completed the Bale and Doneen Method Preceptorship Program. Connect with Dr. Susan Mazzei on Linkedin

Dr. Kelsey Esposito worked in healthcare advertising and communications before realizing that her passions were dentistry and patient care. She holds a BA in Economics and Fine Art from Kalamazoo College, a Premedicine Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from Northwestern University, and a Doctor of Dental Medicine from The University of Illinois in Chicago. She is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), Chicago Dental Society (CDS), Illinois Dental Society (IDS), Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and AAOSH.

Dr. Marco Fajardo is a graduate of Northwestern University Dental School, where he also served as a part-time Assistant Clinical Instructor. He was a member of the University Dental Associates of the University of Chicago too. In 1994, he formed the basis of West Suburban Oral Healthcare with Dr. Mazzei. He is now its Team Leader.

Dr. Ashley Nguyen studied at the University of Buffalo and Midwestern University in Downers Grove, IL (dental school). She is a member of the ADA, CDS, IDS, and other local organizations. She continues her education by attending dental conferences and seminars.