A filling is used to treat a small hole, or cavity, in a tooth. Tooth decay is damage to a tooth that can happen when harmful bacteria in your mouth make acids that attack the tooth enamel. This can lead to a small hole in a tooth, called a cavity. More severe decay can cause a large hole or even destruction of the entire tooth. If tooth decay is not treated, it can cause pain, infection, and even tooth loss.
To repair a cavity, the decay is removed then a filling material is placed. There are several types of filling material currently available to repair cavities, including tooth- colored (composite) fillings and silver-colored (amalgam) fillings.