Silver amalgam fillings have been used to fill in too structure deteriorated by dental caries (cavities), for more than a century. Over the years the safety of using silver fillings have been in scientific question because it contains mercury.
As research, science, and technology advances, composite fillings have replaced the old technique of silver and amalgam fillings. Composite fillings have distinct advantages over amalgam fillings. They are environmentally non-toxic and mercury-free, bond directly to the surface of the tooth, and protect the tooth from fracturing because they don’t require the removal of extra tooth structure. Composite fillings also match the original shade of the tooth providing a much more natural smile, unlike silver fillings.
In order to bond composite material to a tooth, it is first necessary to remove the decayed portion of the tooth (the cavity) and prepare it for filling. Once prepared, the composite is applied and bonded to the etched tooth surfaces(s). A curing light is used to induce the activating elements of the composite, allowing them to harden and adhere to the tooth.