Previously, dentists used an inexpensive silver and mercury amalgam to fill and seal cavities. Because silver fillings don’t bond to teeth, a chamber must be cut into the tooth that is larger than the exterior. This “undercut” keeps the filling within the tooth. Because a greater amount of the original tooth must be taken out, these types of fillings may weaken teeth. Recent advancements now allow us to replace old silver fillings with composite or porcelain fillings that are stronger, safer and more natural looking. In general, they are better. Unlike silver fillings, composite fillings bond to the tooth and provide more protection from fracturing. The material is layered into the tooth and hardened with highly intense visible light. The final surface is shaped and polished to match the tooth, making it basically invisible to the naked eye. Say goodbye to “pirate teeth” and hello to a natural-looking new smile.