A filling is a simple repair for a cavity in a tooth. It fills the hole. It keeps bacteria from entering your tooth and causing more decay. Let's look at a few types of dental fillings.
Fillings that are silver-colored are called "amalgam" fillings. They're made of a mixture of metals. They can include mercury, silver, tin and copper. These fillings have been safely used for more than one hundred years. They are less expensive than other options. They can be used to fill large cavities. They are often a good choice for cavities in your back teeth.
Fillings that are tooth-colored are called "composite" fillings. They're made of a mixture of glass and plastic. These can be used for small and medium-sized cavities. They are a good option for teeth in the front of your mouth, because they are the same color as your teeth. But composites are more costly than amalgam fillings, and they aren't as strong.
Less common types of fillings include those made of gold or porcelain. These are the most expensive options. Gold fillings are very strong and long-lasting. Porcelain fillings are more fragile, but they look like real teeth. These fillings may require more than one dental visit.
If you need to have a filling, talk to your dentist about your options. Your dentist will help you decide the type that's right for you.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.