Traditionally, silver amalgam (mixture of silver-tin-copper and mercury) has been used to fill teeth. Today, composite fillings, also known as tooth color fillings, are the preferred filling material. Tooth-color fillings are metal-free, natural-looking filling material made from durable plastic mixed with glass, offering an alternative to porcelain veneer. Tooth-color filling can be used as a restorative solution to treat chipped, cracked, discolored, misaligned or decayed teeth.
Aesthetic is the main advantage of tooth-color fillings, as they can be blended to different shades thus matching the actual tooth color. Tooth-color fillings bond to teeth to support the remaining teeth structure and help to prevent breakage while insulating teeth from excessive thermal changes.
On the downside, tooth-color fillings can be stained by food and beverages such as tea, coffee, and/or wine. As with many restorative dental treatments, tooth-color fillings are not permanent and may have to be eventually replaced.