Cavities Can Cause Serious Problems
Cavities are very serious. If not treated, a cavity will destroy your tooth and kill the delicate nerves at the tooth's center. This may result in an abscess, an area of infection at the root tip. When an abscess forms, it can only be treated with a root canal, surgery or by extracting the tooth.
Fillings Stop the Decay
Fillings restore a decayed tooth back to its normal function and shape. If you get a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, cleaning the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. A filling also prevents further decay by closing off spaces where bacteria can enter. Different types of materials can be used for fillings: porcelain, gold, an amalgam (an metallic alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and occasionally zinc), or a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings.)