To treat a cavity your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fill” the area on the tooth where the decayed material once lived.
Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (such as from nail-biting or tooth grinding).
Today, several dental filling materials are available. Teeth can be filled with gold; porcelain; silver amalgam (which consists of mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper); or tooth-coloured, plastic and glass materials called composite resin fillings. The location and extent of the decay, cost of filling material, patients’ insurance coverage and your dentist’s recommendation assist in determining the type of filling that will best address your needs.