The two most common materials to restore teeth when doing direct fillings are composite and amalgam (also called silver fillings).
Amalgam fillings have been successfully used in dentistry for over 150 years and they have a very solid track record. Amalgam fillings are held in place with mechanical retention; that is, the bottom of the cavity preparation must be larger than the top. This necessitates the removal of a significant amount of tooth structure, which can lead to cracks and fracturing down the road.
Composite fillings are held in place by adhesive agents, which allow the material to be chemically bonded to the tooth, allowing for removal of less tooth structure than amalgam material.
Dr. Beck at South Waterfront Dental in Portland, Oregon will help you decide which material is best for your teeth based on how large the fillings will be and where in the mouth they will be placed. Dr. Beck has many years experience in placing both of these materials and he will be happy to answer any questions you may have about which one is right for you.