Most people recognise dental amalgams as silver fillings. Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper. Mercury, which makes up about 50 percent of the compound, is used to bind the metals together and to provide a strong, hard, durable filling.
White composite fillings are more aesthetically pleasing, they look much like the original tooth and now a days are much stronger and durable than before. These are bonded to the teeth so very little tooth has to be removed. These can also be used cosmetically to change the colour of the teeth and improve the shape of disfigured teeth.