There are a few different types of materials that can be used to fill a cavity in a tooth. A composite dental filling is one of the most common types of tooth-colored fillings available.
Composite fillings come in a variety of shades in order to match different-colored teeth. The most recent research suggests that composite fillings can last just as long as other kinds of fillings, though this may not be true of older fillings.
So what’s the difference between a composite and an amalgam (silver) filling? Composite fillings and silver fillings have the same life expectancy.
Composite fillings look more natural. They tend to seal the tooth better initially, but then tend to wear out over time. Silver fillings tend to not seal the tooth as well at first, but then form a better seal over time. Both types of fillings may cause tooth sensitivity for a time immediately following placement of the dental filling. This sensitivity may last for days or even months.
Composite fillings are usually a little bit more expensive than silver fillings because they are much more difficult to place and require a dentist who is more skilled. However, composite fillings are usually more conservative in that they often require the removal of much less tooth structure in order to do a good job restoring the tooth.