Composite vs. Amalgam Fillings

There's some debate in the dental industry regarding the pros and cons of using silver fillings, or dental amalgams, to fill cavities. At our office, we exclusively use composite resins for several reasons.

Composite Resin

composite resinFirst, composite or composite resin fillings actually bonds to your tooth structure, protecting against decay and strengthening the tooth. And of course, strength means better longevity increasing your chances of keeping that tooth for life.

Resins are also advantageous in providing long-term bacterial invasion protection. Once bonded, the filling won't wear down or change its shape despite the incredible forces of biting and chewing. Since there's no cracking or shifting involved, there's no 'place of entry' for bacteria.

In addition to these functional reasons, we appreciate the aesthetic value of composite resins: allowing us to match your normal enamel color so closely that your dental work will be nearly invisible. So, all things considered, we find white fillings to be the most conservative, durable, and attractive!


silver amalgamsBy contrast, dental amalgams do not form such a bond: they simply form a mechanical barrier to decay. Thus, over time, the amalgam-treated tooth can weaken, often creating a liability to your long-term dental health.

Silver amalgams on biting surfaces do change shape with biting and chewing impact. Thus, little by little, the filling may not 'fill' the cavity any longer. Tiny cracks and shifts in the material can easily allow bacterial reinvasion, creating a bigger decay problem than you had at first.

For these reasons, we do not use silver amalgam fillings at our office. For more information about the differences between amalgam and composite fillings please use the following link to Contact Us.

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