The tooth is first cleaned out to remove any diseased tissue. A dental restorative material is then used to replace this loss of tooth surface re-establishing normal tooth shape and function.
Fillings can also be used to replace tooth structure if lost in a traumatic incident (breaking/chipping a tooth) or in certain cases where the natural tooth has become worn down.
In modern practice there are two main types of dental filling:
1. A white filling (composite)
This is the most popular today for a number of reasons. Aside from the aesthetic advantages over silver (amalgam) counterparts, they also have excellent strength and longevity characteristics.
2. Amalgam fillings (silver metal)
These are also used in practice, however the popularity of this material has diminished over recent years. It is nonetheless still an excellent option in certain circumstances.