The most common tooth colored filling material is a composite resin which is composed of plastics, silica (glass) fillers, and materials which allow for different colors so it can match the look of your teeth. In addition to the aesthetic benefits of tooth colored fillings, there are also many other positive effects. Composite resin is able to bond chemically with your tooth’s natural surface, meaning less of the healthy areas have to be removed for the filling to be secure. The bonding between the composite and your tooth also helps restore more of your tooth’s original strength, though the composite itself is weaker than other filling methods. Luckily, if anything does happen to damage the filling, it is easy to repair. Additionally, composite does not expand over time like amalgam, virtually eliminating the cracking this can cause.
Another type of tooth colored filling is a porcelain onlay or inlay. These are typically used for highly decayed or worn teeth and are a somewhat stronger option than composite resin, especially for the back teeth and molars which undergo more pressure and wear. They tend to last more than twice as long as most composite fillings and are bonded to your teeth with a strong adhesive.