Composite (tooth-Colored Filling)
There are circumstances in which composite (white or “tooth-colored” fillings) serves better than amalgam; when amalgam is not indicated, or when a more conservative preparation would be beneficial, composite is the recommended restorative material. These situations would include any restorations in the front of a patient’s mouth, and small occlusal (biting surface) restorations in which placement of amalgam would require removal of sound tooth structure Composite comes in many shades, making it an excellent choice for a patient’s esthetic zone.
Dental Amalgam is a dental filling that has been used for over 150 years. It is a mixture of mercury with at least one other metal. Amalgam has many advantages over other restorative material, such as low cost, strength, durability, and bacteriostatic effects.
Amalgam is used in dentistry for a number of reasons. It is relatively easy to use and manipulate during placement; it remains soft for a short time so it can be packed to fill any irregular volume, and then forms a hard compound. Amalgam is typically placed only in areas where a strong bond can’t be obtained with composite.
The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has concluded that both amalgam and composite materials are considered safe and effective for tooth restoration.