If part of a tooth has been lost through decay or damaged due to an accident, your dentist may put in a filling. A filling will plug the hole and stop any future pain or discomfort. A filling can be made out of a variety of materials. The most common of these are amalgam (silver) or composite (white).
Silver fillings are made of a material called amalgam, which is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, copper, and other metals. Amalgam fillings are very hardwearing which is why they are often put into the back chewing teeth.
Some people opt for white fillings which match the colour of the natural tooth better. White fillings are becoming more popular, but, for the back teeth, they are only available privately. If you need a filling in one of your front teeth, you can get a composite filling on the NHS.