A dental filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. A filling also helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.
Amalgam (silver filling) is used to repair decayed teeth. It is made of several metals, principally silver, tin and copper. These are combined, using mercury, into a soft mixture.
A band is placed around the tooth and the mixture is placed into the tooth and compacted as it sets. The dentist carves the new restoration to match the surrounding anatomy of the tooth and it is left to cure fully. This takes approx 10-15 minutes.
It is recommended to not eat for the first hour and to avoid eating on that tooth for a full day!
Silver Fillings are a more inexpensive choice and are tolerant to wear. However, due to their dark color they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not recommended for fillings in very visible areas such as front teeth.