Dental fillings materials have advanced over the years and even today new materials are coming out. Daniel Huigens DDS, local dentist at the La Verne office in CA. uses the latest, proven materials that are cosmetic and wear well over time. Different materials are used to different situations. Front teeth require high polish and good shade matching for cosmetics. The back teeth require good wear characteristics as well as shade.
Silver fillings are not used as much any more because they can weaken the teeth and are not cosmetic but , they still are used in certain areas and are a cheaper alternative and last longer than tooth colored fillings . The larger the filling the weaker the tooth is no matter what filling material is used. Once a filling gets to a certain size a crown, or onlay would be required.