Fillings are among the most frequently prescribed and versatile of all dental restorations. In a procedure known as cavity preparation, the dentist uses any of a variety of dental drills (also called burs), microabrasion devices, or laser tips to remove damaged tooth structure, and any tooth material that has been weakened or undermined by decay.
Applying their knowledge of ideal tooth shape (morphology), dentists replace the missing tooth structure with filling material of various types. Fillings are placed into teeth following the removal of tooth decay (caries), and filling material can also be used to restore chipped or partially broken teeth to their normal contour and function.
A tooth-colored composite resin attached to the teeth can improve the appearance and strength of chipped teeth. These procedures require very little preparation (drilling) of the tooth.