Technology and materials in dentistry have improved greatly and it is now possible to provide strong, long lasting and aesthetically pleasing white fillings that look natural and contain no metal or mercury.
The white filling material can be bonded to the tooth which makes it useful for many different purposes. It can be used to fill cavities caused by decay, or to fill small spaces between teeth, making gaps appear smaller or completely closed. It can even be used to correct/mask small misalignments in teeth giving the appearance of a straighter smile.
(Placing white fillings are more difficult than amalgam mercury fillings, and will therefore take the dentist longer to place than a typical amalgam filling. Placement of white composite fillings involves carefully conditioning the tooth surface to receive the material. The material is then placed in increments and carefully sculpted by the dentist to match the shape of a natural tooth. Once in the correct position it is set instantly, to give it strength. Finally, the restoration will be adjusted and polished to ensure it looks great and is in harmony with the rest of your bite.)
The main advantage of white composite fillings is the aesthetic appeal. The main disadvantage is that traditionally they have not always lasted as long as amalgam fillings, but nowadays newer materials have allowed fillings to be placed that have a similar longevity of amalgam mercury fillings.
It is important to discuss with your dentist the best filling material for you as both cavity size, and the position in the mouth can affect the longevity of a filling.