Factors To Help You Choose Between Amalgam And Composite Dental Fillings

Amalgam and composite dental fillings are some of the most common materials for filling damaged teeth. Since both of them are common, they must have their respective strong points. However, there are a few factors you can use to help you choose between the two. Here is what to choose if you want something:

That Can Chew Tough Food

Since amalgam fillings are made from a combination of metals, they are stronger than composite. Therefore, amalgam should be your filling of choice if you wish to have strong teeth that can handle tough foods. This is why your dentist is likely to prescribe amalgam fillings for your back teeth.  Other metallic fillings, such as gold, can perform the same purpose. This is not the case with composite fillings, which wears down fast and can even chip when subjected to strong forces.

To Last a Long Time

Another area in which amalgam fillings outperforms composite fillings is durability. Therefore, if you don't want to go back to the dentist for a repeat treatment soon, then it should be your filling of choice. Amalgams tend to last between 10 to 15 years, unlike composites that have been known to fail in even after five years.


In addition to the above advantages, amalgam is also less expensive than composite fillings. In fact, some estimates put the price of composites as twice that of amalgam. This may explain why many insurance companies do not pay the full price of composite fillings; they just pay amounts comparable to amalgam, and then the patients pay the difference.

However, it is not all doom with composite fillings because there are areas where they beat amalgam fillings. For example, you should choose composites if your main concern is to:

Preserve Your Beautiful Smile

The dentist can customize your composite fillings to match the color of your existing teeth. Thus, fewer people will know about your fillings if you have composites as compared to when you have amalgam, which are silver in color. This is why many people prefer composite fillings in their front teeth.

Help Maintain Your Natural Tooth Structure

For every filling, some of your tooth structure has to be removed. However, composite fillings bond to the tooth and the bonding provides good support, which means minimal tooth structure is removed. As for amalgam, it doesn't bond to the tooth, so the dentist has to remove considerable tooth structures so that more amalgam is used at the bottom to increase stability.

Your dentist's input should also form an important aspect of making this decision. Don't forget that both of these dental fillings can only last if they are properly cared for, which means you need to observe a high level of dental hygiene. To learn more, contact a company like Rupp and Grabowski Family Dentistry with any questions or concerns you have.