A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. When giving a filling we clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. By closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay.
Materials used for fillings include gold, porcelain, a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and an amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc).
No one type of filling is best for everyone. What’s right for you will be determined by the extent of the repair, whether you have allergies to certain materials, where in your mouth the filling is needed, and the cost.