Which Type of Dental Filling is Better?

Which Type of Dental Filling is Better?

April 1, 2024

When faced with a cavity, choosing the right filling is essential for maintaining oral health. We understand the importance of choosing the right dental filling for your needs. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various types of dental fillings available, compare their durability and appearance, address any health concerns, and guide you in selecting the best option. Let’s embark on this journey to uncover the ideal dental filling treatment near you that will keep your smile healthy and radiant.

What are the Different Types of Dental Fillings Available?

Dental fillings come in various materials, each with its unique characteristics:

Amalgam Fillings

  • Amalgam fillings or the silver fillings, have been used in dentistry for over a century. They are made from a mixture of metals, including mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Amalgam fillings are better known for their durability and affordability, making them popular for restoring posterior teeth that endure heavy chewing forces.
  • Durability: Amalgam fillings are highly wear-resistant and can withstand significant chewing pressure.
  • Cost-effective: Amalgam fillings are typically more affordable than other dental fillings.
  • Longevity: With proper care, amalgam fillings can last many years before requiring replacement.

Composite Resin Fillings

  • Composite resin fillings are tooth-colored fillings made from plastic and glass materials. Unlike amalgam fillings, composite resin fillings can be color-matched to the natural shade of the patient’s teeth, providing a more aesthetically pleasing result.
  • Aesthetic appeal: These fillings blend seamlessly with natural tooth enamel, making them virtually indistinguishable from surrounding teeth.
  • Versatility: Composite resin can be molded and shaped to restore teeth in the mouth’s front and back areas.
  • Conservative: These fillings require less healthy tooth structure removal than amalgam fillings.

Ceramic Fillings

  • Ceramic or porcelain fillings are made from high-strength dental ceramics that closely resemble natural tooth enamel. Ceramic fillings are highly durable and stain resistant which make them an excellent choice for restoring teeth in visible areas of the mouth.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Ceramic fillings mimic the appearance of natural teeth, providing a seamless and lifelike result.
  • Durability: Ceramic fillings are highly wear-resistant and can withstand chewing forces for many years.
  • Biocompatibility: Ceramic fillings are biocompatible and well-tolerated by oral tissues.

Gold Fillings

  • Gold fillings, also known as gold inlays or onlays, are prepared from a mixture of gold and other precious metals. While less common than different types of dental fillings, gold fillings offer exceptional durability and longevity.
  • Durability: Gold fillings are renowned for their longevity and can last decades with proper care.
  • Biocompatibility: Gold fillings are well-tolerated by oral tissues and are have low probability to cause allergic reactions or sensitivity.
  • Precision fit: Gold fillings are custom-made to fit the exact shape and contours of the tooth, ensuring a tight seal and optimal restoration.

How Do Composite Fillings Compare to Amalgam Fillings in Terms of Durability?

Composite fillings

  • Offer comparable durability to amalgam fillings.
  • May require replacement sooner in high-stress areas due to wear.
  • Advancements in composite materials have improved their longevity over the years.

Amalgam fillings

  • Known for exceptional durability and longevity.
  • It withstands significant chewing forces and can last for decades with proper care.
  • Often preferred for back teeth or areas prone to heavy chewing pressure.

Are there any Health Concerns Associated with the Materials Used in Dental Fillings?

Amalgam Fillings

One common concern revolves around the use of mercury in amalgam fillings. Mercury, a component of dental amalgam, has raised questions about its potential health risks. However, numerous scientific studies and regulatory agencies have concluded that the amount of mercury discharged from amalgam fillings is minimal and poses no significant health threat to patients.

Composite Fillings

Composite resin fillings are another popular option, especially for their aesthetic appeal and tooth-colored appearance. While composite fillings are considered safe and biocompatible, some individuals may suffer some mild allergic reactions or sensitivity to the materials used.

If you have concerns about allergies or sensitivities, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your dentist in Poway. They can provide personalized recommendations and alternative options to ensure your comfort and well-being.

How Does the Choice of Filling Material Impact the Appearance of the Tooth?

Composite fillings

  • Color-matched to natural tooth enamel, providing a seamless and aesthetically pleasing result.
  • It is ideal for front teeth or visible areas where aesthetics is a primary concern.

Amalgam fillings

  • They have a silver appearance that contrasts with natural tooth color.
  • It is often used in posterior teeth where appearance is less of a concern, but durability is paramount.

What Factors Should Be Considered When Choosing a Dental Filling Type?

When selecting a dental filling type, consider the following factors:

  • Location and Size of the Cavity
  • Consider the location and size of the cavity when choosing a dental filling. For example, due to their aesthetic appeal, composite fillings are often preferred for front teeth or visible areas. In contrast, amalgam fillings may be more suitable for posterior teeth that endure heavy chewing forces.

  • Aesthetic Preferences
  • If appearance is your primary concern, discuss your aesthetic preferences with your dentist. Composite fillings offer a tooth-colored option that blends seamlessly with natural teeth, providing a more discreet restoration than amalgam fillings.

  • Longevity and Durability
  • Think about the longevity and durability of the filling material. While amalgam fillings are known for their exceptional durability and longevity, composite fillings offer good durability and can last many years with proper care. 

  • Cost Considerations
  • Tooth fillings come at various prices, so it’s essential to keep in mind your budget when choosing a filling type.

  • Personal Health and Allergy Concerns
  • If you have any known allergies or sensitivities to certain materials, discuss them with your dentist. They can provide alternative options or recommend materials that are biocompatible and safe for you.

  • Dentist’s Recommendation
  • Your dentist is crucial in helping you make informed decisions about your dental treatment. Trust in their expertise and guidance when selecting a dental filling type. 

  • Comfort and Sensitivity
  • Consider any past experiences with dental procedures and your comfort level when choosing a filling type. Some patients may experience sensitivity or discomfort with certain materials, so it’s essential to prioritize your comfort and well-being.


Choosing the right dental filling is essential for maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile. Whether you opt for amalgam, composite resin, ceramic, or gold fillings, each type offers unique benefits and considerations. By understanding the differences between these fillings and consulting with your dentist, you can take the best decision, ensuring your teeth’ long-term health and appearance. 

Book an Appointment with Us for a Personalized Consultation Today!

Our team at Heavenly Smiles Dentist is here to assist you in selecting the best dental filling for your needs. Schedule a consultation to find out your options and receive personalized treatment recommendations.

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