Composite fillings are tooth-colored to blend in with the remaining natural part of the tooth. The term composite refers to the actual filling material which is a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium. Composite fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small to medium sized restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure.
In addition, composites are bonded, or adhesively attached, to the tooth, often allowing a more conservative repair for the tooth. Tooth colored fillings can also stain or discolor over time, which may warrant replacement. The life expectancy of a white filling can depend greatly on where it is in your mouth and how heavily your teeth come together when you bite.
Composite filling material is also commonly used to repair front teeth that have chipped or worn. Where possible, esthetic bonding of composite material to front teeth is generally much less expensive than veneers or crowns. However, bonding typically does not last as long as veneers or crowns.