When a tooth requires a filling to repair a cavity, the two most common materials used today are dental amalgam and composite. While both materials do an excellent job of repairing cavities, there are some differences to consider when choosing your restoration. Dental amalgam, or silver filling, is made of a mixture of metals, and is most commonly used to repair cavities in the back of the mouth. It is an extremely durable material and has been the go to material for fillings for many years. However a drawback of dental amalgam is that it does not mimic the tooth’s natural color and does not bond to tooth material. In some cases this can result in a tooth developing cracks and the filling falling out over time. It is also more likely to be heat and cold sensitive. Another option is to use composite for the filling. With a composite filling, the shade of the material closely blends with your natural tooth color, making it the material of choice when restoring teeth in the front of the mouth. Additionally, it is physically bonded to the tooth, making it highly durable and visually appealing. While esthetically more attractive than amalgam, composite fillings are typically more expensive. Many patients still choose composite, due to the sheer beauty of the final restoration. In the right circumstances, both amalgam and composite are excellent solutions for repairing cavities. It is important that you consult with your doctor so that the right choice can be made based upon your unique needs.