Fillings are done to fix a tooth that has cracked or broken. It is also used to treat a decayed tooth or a cavity. The dentist will use anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. A hand-held drill will be used to remove the decay or to prepare the tooth for the filling material. If the decay is close to the nerve, a liner material will be placed to protect the nerve. There are several types of filling materials that can be used, the two most common are amalgam (silver colored filling) or a tooth-colored material called a resin bond or composite. The dentist will suggest which is best depending on the location of the tooth and the extent of the decay. The amalgam filling will be mixed by a machine and then placed by the dentist. The resin bond or composite will be placed in layers using a curing light to help harden the material as it is applied. When the filling process is finished, the dentist will remove any extra material and polish the final restoration.