Gold: Lasts at least 10 to 15 years, some say gold presents a pleasing appearance.
Silver fillings (amalgams): Lasts at least 10 to 15 years, less expensive than composite fillings.
Tooth-colored composite fillings: Shade can be closely matched to color of existing teeth, bonds to existing tooth providing additional support, commonly used for repairs other than cavity filling, sometimes less tooth needs to be removed compared with amalgams.
Ceramics/porcelain: Lasts more than 15 years, more resistant to staining than composite resin material.
Glass ionomer (acrylic and a specific type of glass material): Mostly used for fillings below the gum line, releases fluoride that can help protect from further tooth decay.