Amalgam or Composite Fillings

May 12, 2015

Fillings Used in Dentistry

There are two different kinds of fillings used in dentistry. The silver fillings known as amalgam fillings and a tooth colored filling known as composite fillings.

Silver vs White Fillings

Amalgam Filling

The amalgam fillings have been used for over 100 years, and are made up of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. The amalgam filling is known to last up to 20% longer than the composite resin filling. Although they can last longer than composite fillings, the amalgam filling can cause fractures in the restored tooth due to contraction and expansion to hot and cold. Amalgam fillings also produce a micro leakage of mercury, although it is not enough to hurt anyone. This is where people question if silver fillings are possibly unhealthy.

Composite Filling

The composite fillings are natural looking fillings made out of ceramic and plastic compounds. Dentists are able to match these fillings to your tooth color. Composites bond to your existing tooth, helping to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth. However, these fillings can shrink over time, making an open margin, making room for possible decay. These fillings may last up to 5-7 years.

As you can see, there are pros and cons of each filling. Any filling you and your dentist decide on will need to be replaced with a new filling over time. Good hygiene will help determine how long your fillings can last. Always make sure to brush and floss your teeth.

2 thoughts on “Amalgam or Composite Fillings”

  1. Thank you for this informative piece. Comparison to Amalgam and Composite both are having different pros and cons, although the two are extremely effective at repairing teeth and completely safe to use. But cost, cosmetic concerns and type and the size of the cavity will be the factors when choosing the dental filling. You should discuss with the dentist when choosing which type of filling is right for the situation.