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Composite fillings and amalgam fillings are two very different options when you have a cavity


Your smile. You don’t want the world to see your tooth restorations when you smile. A composite filling is made from a composite resin material that is designed to look exactly like your normal teeth while an amalgam filling stands out like a sore thumb.

In fact, the dentist will spend a lot of time matching your tooth color and resin to ensure that they match. Also, amalgam fillings are made using liquid mercury - a toxic material. The composite resin material looks more natural and is nearly indistinguishable from your tooth

Composite filling in a tooth

What are Composite Fillings Made Of?

Dentistry is evolving, and while dental services of the past relied on an array of dental filling materials, some of the most common were:

  • Silver amalgam fillings
  • Glass ionomer fillings  
  • Many other filling materials

At the time, there were concerns that a composite didn’t offer the strength needed for the filled tooth to remain strong. As a result, when dealing with larger fillings, patients often opted for amalgam fillings despite the potential health concerns due to the mercury in the filling.

However, the times and the resin have changed.

Composite fillings of today are used in dentistry daily. The material used is strong, durable and can last years without needing to be replaced. In fact, composite can be used during all forms of decay and can be placed in the teeth of adults and children.

Advantages of a Composite Tooth Filling vs Amalgam Fillings

Dentists can advise a patient on the best material for their filling, but there are a lot of perks if you choose a composite resin. For example, composite resin fillings differ from an amalgam by offering:

  • Better tooth bonding
  • Less drilling and pain to place

Tooth enamel is crucial for the health of your tooth, and when compared to amalgam, the enhanced bonding of composite filling allows for more enamel to be preserved. Since the enamel is present, it allows for better, longer-lasting restorations.  

Dental experts also prefer composite fillings over amalgam because they do not expand and contract with different food temperatures.

Less expansion and contraction mean that your teeth need less dental work over the long-term because the filling is less likely to break and crack.

Placing Fillings Made of Composite

Fillings that are made with composite are placed in a similar way to an amalgam filling. Traditional dental services will:

  • Drill into the decayed tooth material
  • Remove the decay
  • Clean and prep the area
  • Create the composite filling in the dental office

During this process, dentists will work to match the color of the resin to the tooth color of the patients. Years of experience allow the dentist to create a superb filling that looks just like the tooth the patient had drilled.

Once the dentist is satisfied with the results, the filling can be placed.

The filling material used is placed into the prepared area, shaped and then “cured.” Curing is a process that uses a special light to harden the resin. Once done, the patient will have a healthy smile with a color that is as close to their natural tooth shade as possible.

Our dental fillings are more durable than amalgam, bind to your teeth better and boost your overall dental health. Additionally, the fillings can withstand substantial chewing force, allowing you to eat the foods you want without worrying about fillings breaking.

Our filling material offers high-end testing not seen in amalgam fillings. Instead, the filling material undergoes significant testing and evaluation to ensure mechanical performance. Since higher filler content is used, the flexural strength of the filling allows it to last for years.

Fillings, whether they’re made of amalgam or other dental material, must fill the void left behind in the tooth from decay. A dental expert will advise you on the best fillings for your dental needs.

Schedule Your Dental Appointment

If you’re interested in a long-lasting filling that will last for years and bond to your teeth easily, composite fillings area great option. We can help you restore your teeth and smile using composite, amalgam fillings, or other options depending on your needs.

Are you a current patient or looking for a dental clinic that can restore your teeth?

Give us a call today to schedule your appointment

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Dr. Gurpreet Sidhu - Dentist at Lighthouse Dental Centre and Blue Water Dental
Dr. Gurpreet Sidhu

With nearly two decades of experience, Dr. Sidhu enjoys helping his patients learn about dentistry. Knowledge is meant to be improved, challenged and shared.

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