RESTORATIVE DENTISTRY (tooth fillings): Dental restoration (tooth fillings) is a procedure to restore a damaged tooth due to the effects of tooth decay, or wear and tear of a tooth. Tooth fillings bring back its normal shape and function. By closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay. Today, several dental filling materials are available. Teeth can be filled with gold, porcelain, or a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and an amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc). Composite fillings are strong, but may not be as hard wearing as amalgam fillings. Composite fillings are tooth colored. The dentist will choose a shade to match your own teeth.