There are different types of fillings and they have different advantages to disadvantages.
Composite fillings are also called plastic or white fillings. This type of filling depends on where the tooth is in your mouth. As we bite down hard on our back teeth (molars), a plastic filling may not be a good choice.
In order for your dentist to place this filling, they would need to clean all the decay from the tooth and put a glue (or bonding material) on the inside of the hole. Composite resin is put into the hole in thin layers. Each layer gets hard with the help of a special light that the dentist would hold over the tooth. When the last layer of the filling is hard, the dentist will shape the filling so it looks and feels neutral.
Some of the advantages include that the fillings will be the same colour as your natural teeth, they would cost less than gold fillings and they are direct fillings, so they can be done in one appointment, in most cases.
Glass Ionomer Materials
Glass ionomer materials are only used in teeth where you do not bite down hard. There have not been many studies about how long this kind of filling lasts. Newer forms of this type of filling may be stronger and last longer. Research is currently being conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the materials.
Some clear advantages are; these fillings are the same colour as your natural teeth, they contain fluoride, which help recurrent decay in the tooth, do not have to be put in layer by layer, they are direct fillings that can be done in one appointment and they cost less than gold fillings.
Some disadvantages are that they may not be as strong and will not last as long as other fillings and they cost more than amalgam fillings.
Porcelain materials are the most common type of dental ceramic used by dentists. They are hard and brittle. Porcelain and metal can be combined to make a strong, tooth-coloured crown. Dental porcelain is made in a dental lab. Unless you had a bad tooth-grinding habit or some other problem, a combination of porcelain and metal can be used anywhere in the mouth.
Some advantages are that the dental porcelain is the same colour as your natural teeth and that the fillings last a long time.
Some disadvantages are: teeth that bite down hard, like molars, ceramics are not a good choice - fillings can break; they are indirect fillings, a minimum of two appointments will be required; and they cost more than most other type of fillings.