A filling is a way to restore a tooth that is damaged by decay back to its normal function and form. When a dentist gives you a filling, the decayed part of the tooth is first removed, the affected area is cleaned, and then the clean cavity is filled with a filling material. There are a number of different kinds of fillings available such as:
Composite (white fillings) which are made from natural tooth coloured resins, they are aesthetically pleasing and can be matched to the same colour as your natural teeth.
Porcelain (inlays and onlays) which are made in the laboratory by a dental technician and then bonded or glued to the tooth.
Silver amalgam consisting of mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper. Although amalgam fillings are resistant to wear, due to their colour, they are more noticeable than composite fillings. For this reason, they tend to be used mainly on the back teeth and in general their use is becoming more and more limited.
No matter what kind of restorative material is used, a dental restoration of high quality should improve the tooth’s integrity and imitate the shape, function and properties of the tooth.