Key Differences Between Amalgam & Composite Dental Fillings

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For over a century, the only materials available for dental restorations included silver or amalgam, gold, and porcelain. When you opened your mouth, the dental work was visible for anyone to see; however, the materials were very strong and tended to last a long time. Enter composite or tooth-colored dental fillings, which came on the scene in the 1980’s, but didn’t really take off until the 1990’s, due to leakage and weak compressive strength. Once those issues were resolved, composites were greatly improved and preferred over silver fillings.

The key differences between amalgam & composite restorations are mainly cosmetic, but can also include oral health, due to incompatibility or adverse reaction to mercury – the main material in amalgam fillings. Some other differences to take into consideration when choosing dental fillings are:


  • Amalgam fillings are often stronger and may last longer than composite fillings
  • Composite fillings look more attractive than silver fillings
  • Amalgam restorations are less costly than tooth-colored fillings
  • Composite fillings can be matched to your shade of tooth color
  • Amalgam fillings may be better for bigger cavities since they are stronger than composite fillings, which are perfectly suited for smaller cavities
  • Composite fillings are best with teeth that experience a moderate amount of pressure, when chewing, compared to amalgams that can handle the majority of your chewing action


At the office of Sonshine Family Dental, we offer several options for dental restorations and would welcome your call to (317) 495-9537 for an appointment with Dr. Steven Driggers, our talented dentist. We are here to help you with amalgam and composite restorations in Avon, Indiana, so call today!