The standard treatment for a cavity is to fill the tooth. First, the dentist
will numb the area. Then the decayed material in the cavity is removed and the cavity is filled. Fillings usually are made of dental amalgam or composite resin. Amalgam is a silver-gray material made from silver alloyed with copper or other metals to make it more durable. Composite resin offers a better appearance because it is tooth-colored.
Amalgams are used primarily in molars and premolars. Resins are used primarily in the front teeth, although it is possible to use them in all teeth. Gold inlay may be used if greater strength is needed, but this is more expensive.
If a cavity is large, the remaining tooth may not be able to support the amount of filling material that would be needed to repair it. In this case, the dentist will remove the decay, fill the cavity, and cover the tooth with an artificial crown.
Sometimes the part of the tooth you can see remains relatively intact, but there is damage inside the tooth. In the