Dental composite resins (white fillings) are composed of synthetic resins used for restorative dentistry. Some advantages of composite resins include bonding to the tooth, aesthetically pleasing, adding strength to the tooth, and in some cases the release of the mineral fluoride which can help prevent decay. However, composite fillings are more technique sensitive and may not last as long as amalgam fillings. With increasing technology and research, longevity and clinical performance of composites is improving, but ultimately is dependent upon the patient’s cooperation during the restorative process along with their home care and habits. Another disadvantage is limited insurance coverage as some insurance companies may only cover composite (white) fillings on anterior (front) teeth and not on posterior (back) teeth; therefore if the patient elects white fillings on teeth not covered by their insurance, the patient is responsible for the associated fee.
The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has concluded that both amalgam and composite materials are considered safe and effective for tooth restoration.