The most common type of materials used today for dental restorations are composite resins. They are more popular than amalgam filling due to their cosmetic appeal and their ability to bond to tooth structure. They can be completed in one visit under local anesthesia and are a cheaper alternative to ceramic and gold fillings.
Amalgam fillings, which are silver in appearance and the first type of material to be used in dentistry, are now used less and less frequently due to their metallic look. Greater tooth preparation is additionally needed to mechanically retain them.
Also known as ceramic or gold onlays and inlays, these fillings are highly useful in teeth that are weak and would benefit from having laboratory fabricated fillings made out of highly durable, strong and aesthetic materials. Designed to bond extremely well to tooth structure, these fillings provide structural rigidity to the tooth. They can also be a useful alternative to traditional crowns. As always, receiving ceramic and gold fillings must be considered on a case-by-case basis.