Amalgam vs. Composite Fillings: Which Is Right for You?

Posted on January 19, 2023 in Restorative Dentistry by dgp-dev

If you’re facing a dental filling, it’s essential to understand the different types available and which one is best suited for you. Amalgam and composite fillings are two of the most popular options available, and choosing between them can be confusing.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at both types of fillings, exploring their pros and cons, and helping you make an informed decision about which one is right for you. We understand that every patient is unique, and our goal is to help you make the best choice for your dental health needs.

Composition and Durability: How Amalgam Fillings Compare To Composite Fillings

When it comes to dental fillings, the materials used are an essential consideration. Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, are made of a combination of metals, including silver, copper, tin, and mercury. These fillings have been used for over 150 years and are known for their strength and durability.

Composite fillings, on the other hand, are made of a combination of plastic and glass or ceramic materials. These fillings are becoming increasingly popular due to their natural-looking appearance, making them a popular choice for those who prefer a more aesthetically pleasing option.

Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. Amalgam fillings are long-lasting and durable, making them an excellent choice for back teeth or teeth that are under heavy chewing pressure. However, they are not as aesthetically pleasing as composite fillings, and some patients may be concerned about the use of mercury in the filling material.

Composite fillings, on the other hand, are less durable than amalgam fillings and may need to be replaced more frequently. However, they are a more natural-looking option and are often preferred for front teeth or teeth that are visible when you smile.

When it comes to composition and durability, the right choice for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Our dental professionals can provide you with personalized advice on which type of filling is best for your specific situation.

Aesthetics: Which Filling Is More Natural-Looking?

For patients concerned about the appearance of their dental fillings, composite fillings are the clear winner. These fillings are tooth-colored, making them blend seamlessly into your natural teeth. They are an excellent option for those who want their dental work to be as discreet as possible.

Amalgam fillings, on the other hand, are silver in color and can be visible when you open your mouth. While they are often used for back teeth where appearance is less of a concern, they may not be the best option for those who want a natural-looking smile.

It’s worth noting that amalgam fillings can also darken over time, making them even more noticeable. If you’re looking for a filling that will be discreet and blend in with your natural teeth, composite fillings are the better choice.

Cost and Insurance Coverage: What You Need to Know

When it comes to cost, there can be a significant difference between amalgam and composite fillings. Amalgam fillings are typically less expensive than composite fillings, making them a more budget-friendly option.

However, it’s essential to consider the long-term cost of your fillings. Amalgam fillings may last longer than composite fillings, meaning you may need to replace your composite fillings more frequently, which could add up over time.

It’s also worth considering your insurance coverage. While many insurance plans cover both types of fillings, some may only cover amalgam fillings. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage and any potential out-of-pocket costs.

The Filling Procedure: What to Expect

Whether you choose an amalgam or composite filling, the procedure for getting a filling is generally the same. First, your dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth to ensure you don’t feel any pain during the procedure.

Next, they will remove any decayed or damaged tooth material and prepare the tooth for the filling. The type of filling you choose will determine the next steps.

For amalgam fillings, your dentist will place the filling material into the prepared tooth and shape it to fit the contours of your tooth. The material will harden quickly, and your dentist will smooth it out and make any necessary adjustments before polishing the filling.

For composite fillings, your dentist will apply the filling material in layers and use a special light to harden each layer before adding the next. They will shape and polish the filling to ensure it blends seamlessly with your natural teeth.

The entire procedure usually takes around an hour, and you can typically return to your regular activities right away. Your dentist will provide you with aftercare instructions to ensure the filling heals properly.

Which Is Better: Amalgam or Composite Filling?

At the end of the day, the right choice for you will come down to your personal preferences and needs. Our dental professionals can help you understand the pros and cons of both amalgam and composite fillings and provide personalized advice on which option is best for you.


Choosing the right type of filling for your dental needs is an essential decision, and it’s one that should be made with the guidance of a dental professional. Amalgam and composite fillings both have their advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice for you will depend on a variety of factors, including your personal preferences, insurance coverage, and budget.

At our dental clinic, we’re committed to helping our patients make informed decisions about their dental health. Our team of dental professionals is dedicated to providing expert advice and care to ensure your satisfaction and comfort throughout your treatment.

If you need a dental filling, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for personalized advice and care. We’re here to help you make the best possible decision for your dental health, and we look forward to working with you to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.