A dental restoration and dental filling is a dental restorative material used artificially to restore the function, integrity and shape of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from cavities or external trauma.
Dental composites are also called white fillings. Crowns and in-lays can also be made in the laboratory from dental composites. These materials are similar to those used in direct fillings and are tooth colored. Their strength and durability is not as high as porcelain or metal restorations and they are more prone to wear and discoloration.
Many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure. Porcelain inlays and tooth-colored restorations (onlays) create fillings that are camouflaged and also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are aesthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new technologies.