Dental restorations, or dental fillings, are most frequently prescribed and versatile among all dental restorations used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. The structural loss results typically from caries or external trauma.


Fillings are placed in the teeth followed by the removal of decay, and filling materials are used to restore partially broken teeth to their normal contours and functions. For many years, these fillings have been the workhorse of dentistry and can provide decades of use when they are appropriately placed and cared for.

Tooth fillings and dental crowns are most commonly used in helping with the wear and tear of teeth as well as for the effects of tooth decay. There are a number of restorative materials for fillings, including gold, porcelain, silver amalgam, glass ionomer cement, plastic, and composite resin.


Preparations may be intracoronal or extracoronal. A dentist will first examine and remove the decayed tooth material then clean the affected area and fill the cleaned-out cavity with a filling material.

The use of a local anesthetic will ensure that the restoration area in the mouth is numb throughout; however, some pressure from the instruments being used may be felt during the procedure. You will not experience any pain, though. The dentist will introduce a local anesthetic into your gums. This will not be particularly painful; the dentist may use a numbing gel to hinder the feeling from your gums before the injection.

The decay that reaches the nerve may be treated in two ways:

(a) Through root canal therapy, in which the damaged nerve is removed.
(b) By pulp capping, which attempts to keep the nerve alive.