Amalgam vs Composite

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Dental fillings require the use of dental restorative material to help the teeth restore its normal function, morphology, and integrity amidst missing tooth structure. These losses are commonly attributed to dental caries or external trauma which both avoidable and unavoidable. But in terms of choices in which type of dental filling to choose, which is better porcelain filling or amalgam filling alone? Or is it better not to undergo dental filling but instead take advantage of cosmetic porcelain.

Amalgam filling

Amalgam filling is composed of 50/50 mixture of mercury and alloy powder composed of zinc, silver or palladium. These substances are dispensed in capsules and are only activated the moment the dentist shake or triturate the mixture of both ingredients thoroughly. After the thorough mixture it transforms into a soft metallic ball which signals that it is ready to be removed from the capsule. Once removed, it will then be confined on the dental cavity in bulk so as to condense the gap or hole produced by dental caries. After which, the dentist carves it accordingly so it will perfectly fit the bite of the patient. It must be performed quite fast because the material easily hardens and when it does it would soon be impossible to make a perfect carve on the teeth.

Composite Filling or Porcelain Filling

Unlike amalgam filling, composites are formed through the use of polymers which are formed into hard plastic that is combined with fillers like silica, quartz or barium to ad strength to the formulation. In comparison to amalgam fillings, dentists do not worry much with the time constraint of the placement because it is light curable allowing dentists to place and carve it properly before it cures.

Composite filling is preferred by many because amalgams contain mercury and other metals which pose danger to our health and is considered toxic once placed in a higher dosage. Others complain of experiencing cold and hot sensitivity on the teeth after the amalgam filling is placed. Moreover there are cases wherein the amalgam filling does not immediately harden making it inconvenient for patients to chew and bite on food for a period of time.

On the contrary, composite filling although it takes longer to apply produces a more natural look on the teeth of the patient. It is also more expensive in comparison to amalgam filling but patients are willing to spend more on this dental treatment because also lends additional strength to the tooth by splinting the tooth together and unlike amalgam fillings it is repairable which helps preserve more tooth structure.


For patients who are not too much concerned with the aesthetic appeal of dental fillings then amalgam filling may be perfect for them, especially if they do not have enough funds for their dental expenses. Nevertheless, anyone who does not want to destroy the appearance of their smile would rather invest more on composite filling because it guarantees superior aesthetics, safer and non-controversial use of ingredients and possibility for repair.

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