How do you decide what is the best way to restore a tooth that has a cavity or has broken? First, how important is the appearance to you? If you want the tooth to appear as natural as possible, resin bonded composites or ceramics (porcelain) are the best options. For larger cavities or fractures, porcelain is generally more durable and predictable, but also more of an investment. If appearance is not an issue, silver amalgam or gold may be appropriate restorations. Given the recent price of gold, this is probably the costliest but also most durable type of restoration. The location of the tooth, personal habits and anatomy, health history and desired appearance all contribute to the best filling material decision. I like to think about it in the format of weighing risks and benefits, which should include cost, durability, predictability and appearance. I am always happy to discuss these issues with you.