It is a combination of metals such as silver, mercury, tin and copper.
Benefits: It is less costly, lasts longer (more than 10 years) and stronger than other filling materials. It is also very kind to the gums.
Limitations: The colour does not match the teeth, they can corrode or tarnish over time.
Composite Resin (Tooth Coloured)
A mixture of plastic and fine glass particles.
Benefits: It can match your tooth colour closely, less trimming of the tooth is required as compared to amalgam.
Limitations: It does not last as long (5-8 years), more expensive and not as durable as amalgam fillings.
Glass Ionomer Fillings
Usually used on baby teeth, non-biting surfaces of the teeth and small fillings.
Benefits: They normally require less drilling of the teeth and there is a constant leaching of fluoride into the tooth surface which will reduce sensitivity and protect against further decay.
Limitations: They are not as strong as the other options.
They are custom made for each filling.
Benefits: These provide a very hard and durable surface for eating. They are potentially the longest lasting fillings.
Limitations: They are the most expensive filling option