There are alternative, natural-looking materials to conventional silver-colored fillings - materials made from porcelain and composite resins, which are colored to match natural tooth enamel. Common amalgam alternatives include:
- Composite fillings - As stated, composite fillings are just what the name implies: a mixture of resins and fine particles designed to mimic the color of natural teeth. These tooth-colored fillings are not only stronger than traditional silver fillings, but provide a pleasing aesthetic alternative. Sometimes, composite resins need to be cemented, or bonded to a tooth to allow for better adhesion.
- Porcelain (ceramic) - This material is usually a combination of porcelain, glass powder and ceramic. Candidates for porcelain fillings are typically crowns, veneers and onlays and inlays. Unlike ionomers, porcelain fillings are more durable but can become fractured if exposed to prolonged biting pressures.