What are fillings?

Fillings are restorations that are placed in teeth that have cavities or broken areas. Fillings can be tooth colored which are called composites or silver which are called amalgams. See your dentist if you think you need a filling. 
A dental filling, which may be placed with a variety of materials, restores a fractured, chipped, decayed and sometimes worn tooth. When a tooth has extensive deterioration, a large filling can restore the tooth but not necessarily keep the weak areas from fracturing.

When the tooth is extensively broken down, often a crown may be indicated to provide a more secure restoration that can help to prevent fracture and further breakdown of tooth structure.
A filling is a common way to treat a cavity. Fillings help "restore" teeth and are usually tooth-colored (composites) or silver (sometimes called amalgam.) It generally takes longer to place a composite filling than it does for a metal filling. That’s because composite fillings require the tooth be kept clean and dry while the cavity is being filled. 
The choice or selection of materials used for fillings depends on the location of the tooth and the size of the fillings. Years ago only metal fillings were used. We now can provide metal-free dentistry. These new restorations now meet the hardness and wear resistance of metal fillings, along with satisfying patient's expectations for cosmetics. Most fillings can be completed in a single visit. As the size of the filling grows, sometimes multiple visits are needed. After a thorough clinical exam, your dentist can determine what is best for you.

A filling is one of the treatment options available for the treatment of a cavity. Today, most fillings are made from dental composites that match your natural teeth..The fillings are placed to repair the holes in your teeth that result from decay.

Continue Learning about Cavities


Cavities are tiny holes in your teeth that have developed from decay. Left untreated, cavities will get larger, and can cause toothache and possible loss of teeth. Anybody can get a cavity, but you put yourself at greater risk if ...

you don't brush regularly, or frequently consume sweets or sugary drinks. Your dentist can help prevent cavities with fluoride treatments, and can find them by taking pictures (X-rays) of the teeth. Once found, the dentist may treat your cavity with a filling or if extensive, with a crown. If there has been an extensive infection, other treatments, including antibiotics or a root canal surgery may be indicated.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.