A 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 helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.
If decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth, a crown (or ‘cap’) may be recommended. Decay that has reached the nerve may be treated through root canal therapy.