Tooth Colored Filling
Composite (Tooth Color Filling)
Composite is a mixture of acrylic resin and powdered glass-like particles that produce a tooth-colored filling. This type of material may be self-hardening or may be hardened by exposure to blue light. Composite is used for fillings, inlays and veneers. Sometimes it is used to replace a portion of a broken or chipped tooth. Color and shading can be matched to the existing tooth. Composite is a relatively strong material, providing good durability in small to mid sized restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure. Composite may generally be used on either front or back teeth.
Amalgam (Silver Filling)
Dental amalgams have commonly been called “silver fillings” because of their silver color when they are first placed. Today, amalgam is used most commonly in the back teeth. It is one of the oldest filling materials and has been used (and improved) for more than 150 years. Dental amalgam is the most thoroughly researched and tested filling material. This material is strong, durable and stands up to biting force. Amalgam is the only material that can be used in a wet environment, especially important when treating small children or special needs patients. Amalgam can darken over time as it corrodes. This does not affect the function of the filling, but many people find it less attractive than tooth colored materials.