Toothache and tooth decay always require a visit to a skilled Renton family dentist. While early treatment and good oral hygiene may ward off further harm to the teeth and gums, more significant decay often leads to cavities. Fillings refer to the materials dentists use to fill cavities after tooth decay has been removed. Fillings can be made from many types of materials. For example, amalgam is a mixture of many different metals and is the fastest and most cost-efficient choice. Tooth-colored fillings are called composite resins or ionomers. Composite resins are easier for dentists to work with and less expensive than gold. Ionomers are usually used for smaller cavities or cavities between teeth, and may contain small amounts of fluoride to ward off further decay. Fillings may also be made of gold, which has the advantage of being comparatively stronger than other materials. Finally, ceramics are very strong fillings that blend in almost entirely with the surrounding tooth.