Composite Dental Fillings in Raleigh

There are many dental procedures that are used to treat tooth decay. One of the oldest and most popular forms of treatment is a dental filling. Fillings seem like a rite of passage for many people because they are so common. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have at least one filling in their mouth. Over the years, however, the types of fillings have evolved, and it is now faster and easier to have a cavity treated at your dentist’s office than ever before.

Before and After Image of Dental Fillings

Dental Fillings

Drs. Abernethy, Sonner & Wells share a joined passion for only the highest quality of dentistry on your journey towards optimal oral health.

Fillings are used to fill small holes in teeth that have been brought about either by fractures and/or decay. Decay is brought on by bacterial infections. Bacteria are found on teeth when they are not brushed or flossed correctly, but also poor diet, lifestyle habits, drug use, medication, medical conditions and more can cause tooth decay. Fillings cover holes in your teeth to protect the sensitive pulp and prevent further damage from occurring.

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There are several types of tooth fillings used in the dental industry today. These include traditional metal fillings, as well as composite fillings, which are newer and growing in popularity.

Metal Fillings

These are made from several different types of materials including amalgam, which is the silver filling material that most people are familiar with and expect to have placed in their cavities.

Amalgam is made from a metal alloy containing mercury, silver, tin, and copper. These are very inexpensive and quite durable.

Patients who have fillings placed on their teeth might have them for the rest of their lives without ever needing to have them replaced or repaired.

Another type of metal filling that is less popular, and more expensive than amalgam fillings is gold cast fillings. This type of filling is less common and takes longer to set.

Composite Fillings

They are less visible than other fillings because they are tooth-colored. Unlike their metal counterparts, composite fillings are made from a mixture of plastic and glass and are bonded to the tooth. This type of filling is more expensive than traditional fillings, but they are more far more aesthetic and can last a very long time.

Porcelain Fillings

Porcelain fillings are a new form of filling that uses the latest in technological advancements in the dental industry. These fillings are incredibly strong and look just like your real teeth. They don’t stain, and they can last for decades if taken care of properly.


Composite Vs. Metal Fillings

The major difference between composite and amalgam fillings is the material used. Dental amalgam is a blend of several metals, including mercury and silver.

It has been used reliably to fill teeth in the US since the nineteenth century. Records of a similar amalgam of mercury, silver, and tin are even mentioned in Chinese medical texts as far back as the first century.

Starting in the 1990s, advances in dentistry produced new options for filling teeth. One of the most popular of these is composite fillings. The material used for composite fillings is also a mixture of polymers that can adhere to the tooth surface and are hardened with a blue light.

Many people prefer this type of filling because it does not contain mercury. Also, because it is tooth-colored, it is not easily discernible. Composite resins are strong enough to withstand pressures from the back teeth, and generally last ten years or more, making them a practical, comfortable, and attractive alternative to metal amalgam.

Renaissance Dental Center is located in Raleigh, NC but graciously provide comprehensive Dental Services to all surrounding areas including Cary, Apex, Wake Forest, and Garner.

The Dental Filling Process

Fillings are a very common dental procedure. They are performed by dentists all over the world on a daily basis. Some dentists will perform several fillings in a single day. The process is simple and can be completed in less than an hour in most cases.

The first step in preparing for a filling is to have the tooth cleaned and any decay removed from the tooth with a dental drill after anesthetic has been administered and the area has been numbed. X-rays will be taken to determine the exact location of the cavity.

Then your dentist will work with you to determine the right cavity filling material for your needs and preferences. The tooth is then cleaned and prepared in order for it to receive the filling; if you opted for composite fillings, less tooth surface needs to be removed and altered than if you are having metal fillings placed.

Filling Aftercare

Once your filling is completed, you will continue to have a numbing sensation in the area for several hours.  Once the numbness has worn off, patients are typically able to resume their daily activities. You’ll treat your filling like you do the rest of your teeth: continuing to brush and floss properly will ensure your filling lasts a long time.

During regular check-ups with our dentists, we will check the integrity of the filling and ensure that further decay has not occurred. You may experience some sensitivity for a few weeks following your filling as well. This is common and should subside after some time.

If you have pain in the area, talk to our dentists right away. If your filling ever cracks or falls out, make an appointment right away to have it repaired or replaced to prevent further damage from occurring in the tooth and surrounding teeth.


Anna Abernethy, DDS

Dr. Abernethy grew up in Concord, North Carolina, however, she has called Raleigh "home" for the past 20 years. She came to Raleigh to attend college and graduated from Meredith College Magna Cum Laude in 2001 with a BS in biology and a minor in chemical physics.

Jill Sonner, DDS

Dr. Sonner was born and raised in Raleigh NC, and she attended both UNC Wilmington and North Carolina State University. She received her undergraduate degree from NCSU in 1999 with high honors, obtaining a BS in Biological Sciences. During college she supported research staff at NIEHS and performed an independent study focusing on Diabetes.

Anita Jones Wells, DDS

Dr. Wells is a North Carolina native who grew up in the Pinehurst area and has spent the past 10 years studying and practicing dentistry in Chapel Hill. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she completed both her Bachelor of Science in Biology and her Doctor of Dental Surgery, graduating with honors.


General Dentistry

We each enjoy doing a broad range of procedures. This allows us to provide many services in-house rather than referring patients out as much as possible. From simple tooth colored fillings to surgical procedures, we enjoy offering a range of options for our patients.

Cosmetic Dentistry

We have all devoted many hours to advanced training under the direction of Frank Spear who is world renowned for cosmetic repair of the most worn or severely damaged teeth. We appreciate the impact a beautiful attractive smile has on one’s self confidence and can deliver remarkable cosmetic results for people needing a various degrees of smile design.

Dental Implants

We have each received our implant fellowship with the International Dental Implant Association under the direction of Oral Surgeon Dr. Garg and have been placing dental implants since 2005. Implants are a rehabilitative option for patients needing to replace missing teeth or anchor dentures.

Dental Grafting

We offer a minimally invasive alternative option for covering exposed roots caused by recession that does not involve extensive roof of the mouth grafting, called the Gumdrop Technique.

Sedation Dentistry

Dental procedures can be often overwhelming due to phobia, and needed appointments to the dental office are often delayed or even avoided entirely. Our office offers multiple levels of sedation to make sure you're visiting as often as suggested.

Dental Crowns

Your smile may become damaged, decayed, or need cosmetic repair and jeopardizing your oral health. Dental crowns are the perfect solution for such patients. Restore your teeth back to a beautiful and healthy shine.

Porcelain Veneers

Sometimes aspects of your teeth cannot be changed as easily. In these cases, to get the healthy cosmetic smile you're looking for porcelain veneers are the perfect solution.


We have been using digital impressions and 3D printing since 2010. This technique allows us to eliminate many steps that commonly amount to error. Computer aided design allows us to make and deliver restorations in the same visit preventing additional appointments and taking advantage of the patient being numbed only one time.

Teeth Whitening

In today’s world, white teeth are the norm and if yours are yellow or discolored it affects your self confidence. Something as simple as whitening can drastically change your appeal. In the past most of the whitening options caused tooth sensitivity. We offer an array of choices that are tailored to avoid sensitivity while giving you the best outcome.

Laser Therapies

We all hate those dreadful fever blisters. Did you know if you laser them when you feel that very first tingle they won’t erupt? Suffer no more from unsightly sores, we offer this as quick and painless option.