A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay, back to its normal function and shape. The procedure involves first removing the decayed tooth material, cleaning the affected area, and then filling 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 silver amalgam.
Types of Fillings
Composite “White” Fillings: made of a tooth-colored composite are popular because the color can be matched to your teeth. Composite fillings are more expensive than amalgam fillings.
Silver amalgam: Silver amalgam fillings offer strength and durability at lower cost, but many people don’t like the look of them. Also, amalgam fillings can be more prone to expansion and contraction and thus they are more likely to cause a tooth to crack compared with other filling materials.
Glass ionomers: Glass ionomers are a good choice for children whose teeth are still changing and also they release fluoride, which can help prevent tooth decay.