Dental fillings are used to fill cavities and repair cracked or broken teeth. Fillings can be done with gold, porcelain, or silver amalgam, but is most commonly done with materials called composite resin fillings that are designed to match the color of your teeth.
To fill a tooth, a local anesthetic is applied to numb the area around the tooth. A laser or air abrasion instrument will be used to remove the decayed area and your dentist will prepare the space for the filling by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris. In some cases, your dentist may apply a liner for your tooth called a glass ionomer to help protect the tooth and nerve before the tooth is filled. After your filling is complete, most dentists will polish the tooth to make it feel smooth and natural.