6729 Lake Rd,
Windsor, WI 53598

Dental Fillings

For Patients of All Ages in Windsor & DeForest, WI

For many people, a dental filling comes at some point in life. If you’ve never had a cavity - congrats! If you have, you are far from alone. According to the CDC, over half of the adolescents aged 12-19 have had a cavity in their permanent teeth1. And among adults aged 20 and older, an estimated 90% have had at least one cavity2. Fortunately, dental technology has come a long way in treating cavities, including advancements in dental fillings.

For the best dental fillings in the Windsor and DeForest area, you can trust Windsor Family Dental’s team of experienced dentists.

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What are Dental Fillings?

Dental fillings are a type of dental restoration method for treating cavities or repairing damaged or decayed teeth. A dental filling can be made from a few different materials, including amalgam, gold, composite and others. Choosing which material to use in filling a cavity can depend on the size and location of the cavity, the patient’s dental history and their personal preference.

Types of Dental Fillings

  • Composite: A type of dental filling made from a mix of plastic and fine glass particles. This type of filling bonds to the tooth’s natural structure, enhancing durability while maintaining a natural tooth-like appearance.
  • Amalgam: A type of dental filling made from a mix of metals, including mercury. This type of filling is easy to manipulate during placement and lasts on average longer than composite.
  • Gold: A type of dental filling made from a biocompatible metal alloy. This type of filling has an even longer lifespan but is fading in use due to its higher cost over other fillings.

Why Would You Need a Filling?

Normally you'll need a filling if your tooth is decayed, broken, chipped or if you need to replace an older, worn filling. Some other signs you might consider getting a filling include: 

  • Tooth sensitivity while ingesting hot or cold foods and drinks
  • A visible hole in your tooth 
  • A toothache 
  • Difficulty flossing (shredding the thread or thread stuck between teeth)
Dental fillings for cavities in Windsor, WI

What to Expect from a Cavity Filling Procedure

  1. Your dentist will apply a numbing gel to your gums. A local anesthetic may be injected into the gum for more numbing.
  2. With a drill or other special tool, your dentist removes decay from around your tooth.
  3. The hole is then filled with amalgam or composite material. 
  4. Composite fillings require the dentist to harden the material with a special light.
  5. The filling is polished and adjusted so biting feels natural. 
Dental amalgam vs composite resin fillings

Dental Amalgam vs. Composite Resin Fillings

Amalgam dental fillings have been used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay since the 1800s. These metal-based, silver-colored fillings are one of the most common filling materials.

Composite fillings were invented in the 1960s. Created from a mixture of plastic-based materials, they can be easily colored to look like natural teeth.

If you need a dental filling, you’re likely considering an amalgam or composite/resin filling. There are some circumstances where composite (white fillings) are better than amalgam, such as their ability to be color-matched to teeth and the less intensive installation. There are other chances where amalgam fillings might be better, such as in price and average expected lifespan.

See our full guide on amalgam vs composite fillings to decide which option could work best for you.

Are dental amalgam fillings safe?

The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has concluded both amalgam and composite materials are considered safe and effective for tooth restoration. The FDA has reviewed the best available scientific evidence and found no association between dental amalgam use and adverse health effects in the general population. Accordingly, the FDA recommends that non-mercury restorations (fillings) such as composite resins and glass ionomer cement be used, when possible and appropriate, in people who may be at higher risk for adverse health effects from mercury exposure.

Gold Fillings vs Composite and Amalgam

Due to the high cost of gold fillings and the natural appearance of a composite restoration, gold fillings are not often seen anymore. However, you can still get them. The cost of gold fillings will generally be more than other types of fillings, but they're meant to last a very long time. As with any other filling, the price will also depend on the extent of tooth decay, placement and other complications.

Schedule your filling appointment with Windsor Family Dental today. We take care of patients throughout Dane County including Madison, Sun Prairie, and DeForest. 

Our restorative treatments include:


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vital signs: dental sealant use and untreated tooth decay among US school-aged children. MMWR. 2016;65(41):1141-1145.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Oral Health Surveillance Report: Trends in Dental Caries and Sealants, Tooth Retention, and Edentulism, United States, 1999–2004 to 2011–2016. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/publications/OHSR-2019-index.html

Fillings FAQs


How long do dental fillings last?

Many dental fillings can last around 10 years and some even longer. Factors that will affect the lifespan of your filling include your eating habits, dental hygiene, tooth decay around the filling, and what material the filling is made from. Amalgam fillings last the longest at 15 years while composite fillings only last about 7. Though composite fillings may not last as long, they're usually chosen for their natural, tooth-like appearance.

How many fillings can one tooth have?

Each tooth has 5 different surfaces and it is possible to have multiple areas of concern on a single tooth. If a filling covers 3 or more surfaces of a tooth, it may be necessary to replace the filling with an inlay, onlay, or dental crown. These restorations provide more strength to the tooth and help prevent the tooth from breaking and becoming unrestorable. 

Which dental filling is best?

Resin-based composite and amalgam are the two most common materials used to restore teeth. Resin fillings come in many different shades which are closely matched to your existing tooth color and amalgam fillings are silver. Your dental professional will determine which material would be best suited for your case. Composite material is bonded directly to the tooth structure, it adds extra strength and support. Silver amalgam fillings aren't the most aesthetic option, but they are very strong and easier to place in more complicated cases. 

Are fillings painful?

Dental fillings should not be painful. Your dentist will numb the area before the procedure begins with a local anesthetic. Depending on the severity of your cavity, you may feel a bit of discomfort as the local anesthetic wears off. If you're really anxious about the procedure, you can talk to your dentist about other sedation methods.

Can you eat after a filling?

You can drink immediately after a resin composite filling is placed as the material sets immediately but, be careful chewing while numb and perhaps wait to eat until the anesthetic wears off to avoid biting your lip or tongue. Amalgam filling material takes approximately 24 hours to set and your dentists will typically recommend a soft diet for at least 24 hours.

What not to do after having a filling?

Dentists recommend avoiding hard, chewy or sticky food for up to two weeks while your filling sets in. You'll also want to avoid biting too hard or grinding your teeth. You should still brush and floss your teeth daily.


Get In Touch With Us

See why people have been coming back to us for over 45 years

Christa P.

Dr. Endicott and his team are wonderful! They go above and beyond to care for their patients with clear explanations and expertise, all while being thoughtful, professional, and personable. I can't imagine a more positive dental experience, no matter how complicated the issue. Thank you Dr. Endicott, Dana, Kristen, Kristi, Sue.

Alyssa S

I’ve been going to Windsor Family Dental since i was a kid. I have never had a bad experience there. They always make me feel so welcomed and like i’m a part of their family :) Every person that works there is so kind, patient, and understanding. I never dread going to the dentist, i actually look forward to it! The days i go to Windsor Family Dental are seriously the best days of the year! I am so thankful for them and all of the great experiences i’ve had there.

Nick M.

Been here a year and they've been nothing less than exceptional every time. Schedule changes, care, conversation. Feel like I've known them my whole life every time kids or I go.

Thank you guys so much.

Windsor Family Dental
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THIS IS NOT DENTAL INSURANCE. Cannot be combined with other insurance or discount plans. Membership plan is specific to one person and cannot be transferred. Covered services not used within the specified time period will not be carried over or transferred. Services will be provided at this location only. Membership plan will auto-renew each year on the renewal date. If a patient presents with periodontal infection, a personalized treatment plan will be presented at an additional cost. The perio plan is strictly for preventive maintenance care.