A dental filling is a restorative material used artificially to restore the function, integrity and morphology of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from caries (decay) or external trauma.
Dental restorations can be divided into two broad types: direct restorations and indirect restorations. Dental restorations may be fabricated from a variety of materials. Common direct restorative materials include dental amalgam, glass ionomer cement and composite resins. Common indirect restorative materials include acrylic, porcelain, zirconia, gold and other metals.