Amalgam Fillings: Most people recognize dental amalgams as silver fillings. Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper. Mercury, which makes up about 50 percent of the compound, is used to bind the metals together and to provide a strong, hard, durable, and long lasting filling.

Composite Fillings: A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth or for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color or shape of the teeth. Aesthetics are the main advantage of composites. Composites are bonded to the teeth, which can help support and strengthen the remaining tooth. These fillings are usually not as long lasting as amalgam fillings.