Fillings can be done in either amalgam (silver) or composite (tooth colored). When decay is evident on either the biting service or the sides of the teeth and there is enough tooth structure left, we can repair the damage done by decay with a filling. Silver fillings done on the posterior (back) teeth serve a purpose to fix the decay problem and will last anywhere from 10-20 years if done properly. They are stable and provide a satisfactory cure to dental decay, but over time will sometimes turn the remaining tooth structure dark due to inherent materials within the amalgam. This usually is not a problem, but sometimes creates unsightly smiles. Composite fillings are done to either repair new decay or replace old silver fillings that are unsightly, are leaking, or have worn badly. Composite fillings are technically demanding and do take longer to do than silver fillings, but as can be seen the results are very dramatic.