Tooth-colored fillings, more technically known as composite resin restorations, are not only more esthetically pleasing than silver (amalgam) fillings but are also a superior treatment option for multiple reasons. Most important is the fact that composite fillings actually strengthen a tooth because a chemical bond is created between the filling and the tooth structure. Silver fillings do not bond the tooth together. Silver fillings can actually result in fractured teeth due to the metals’ expansion and contraction over time leading to the propagation of craze lines in the teeth and ultimate weakening of the tooth’s enamel.
Composite resin fillings have been shown in many scientific studies to be equal to or greater in wear resistance than silver fillings; this means normal chewing will not grind down the composite resin to the degree seen with silver fillings. In contrast to silver fillings, thermal (cold) sensitivity is minimized if not completely eliminated by placing composite resin fillings.
Composite restorations are somewhat more technique sensitive for the dentist and require a slightly longer appointment for the patient; however, they provide a superior restoration.