Through diligent application of good oral hygiene you can keep tooth decay to a minimum. But despite your best efforts, fillings are sometimes needed and are one of the most common dental procedures that most people require.
Composite fillings are becoming the standard type of filing used today, and have many advantages to older amalgam fillings. With amalgam fillings there is no direct bond between tooth and filling. Once the decay is removed usually additional tooth must be removed to hold the amalgam in place.
But with composite fillings the material bonds directly with the teeth. There is no need to cut out healthy tooth to keep the filling in place, so you keep more of your original tooth. Because amalgam does not bond directly to the tooth, there is a minute gap between tooth and filling where bacteria can enter and lead to decay. With composite fillings there is no gap.
Some advantages of composite fillings over amalgam:
Composite fillings restore most of the original strength of the tooth and are less susceptible to fracture.
Composite fillings restore the natural appearance of the tooth.
Less sensitive to hot and cold than teeth restored with amalgam.
Composites are mercury-free .
Composites require less removal of tooth structure.