Fillings are necessary to repair a hole that has formed in a tooth.

If the hole is allowed to continue to grow it will ultimately destroy the tooth structure and infect the nerve. Once a tooth has deteriorated to this state it may be that the only treatment available would be its removal.

However if the decay is removed and the hole is repaired with a filling then the tooth will normally continue to function for many years.

Ideally our preventive approach would prevent the actual formation of the hole, but if one does form it will require to be repaired. If the decay is stopped in time then we would normally expect the tooth to be preserved for a considerable length of time.

The types of material that are used for repairing cavities may broadly be divided into three categories: