The debate about composite resin fillings vs amalgam fillings has been going on for years. Some dentists recommend that their patients get a filling done with the newer, less durable material, while others are adamant that amalgam is the better choice for most people.

Composite resin fillings are a great alternative to amalgam fillings if you’re more concerned about aesthetic appeal since they offer a natural finish and go unnoticed. However, amalgam fillings are stronger, more durable, and suitable for large cavities.

Ultimately, it’s best to discuss with your dentist which material they prefer, the best material for your case, and the advantages and disadvantages of composite resin fillings vs amalgam. In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of composite resin fillings vs amalgam fillings so you can make an informed decision about which type of filling is best for you.

Composite vs Amalgam Fillings: What’s the Difference?

You’ve gone for a checkup at Family Dentistry Downey, and the dentist has told you that you need a filling. You’re given a choice between composite resin and amalgam fillings. What’s the difference?

Composite resin is a tooth-colored filling made from a combination of acrylic and ceramic and is often tailor-made to match the color of your teeth. People prefer this filling because it looks more natural than an amalgam filling. Not to mention, it requires less enamel removal, meaning that your tooth can retain more of its natural strength.

On the other hand, amalgam fillings are made of a metal alloy (usually mercury, silver, tin, and copper) that’s been mixed with other materials to create a putty-like substance. Amalgam fillings are strong and durable and can last for many years without any problems. However, they can’t be matched to the color of your teeth like composite resin fillings can because they’re silver in color.

Pros and Cons of Composite Fillings

With the above explanation, composite fillings Downey may seem like the obvious choice. After all, who doesn’t want a tooth colored filling that’s not going to change the way their teeth look?

However, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of this type of tooth filling material before you decide.


  • They blend easily with any tooth color due to custom colorizing
  • It can be used to fix minor cosmetic flaws
  • Composite binds very well to natural tooth enamel, thereby making it less likely to pop off.
  • The material isn’t affected by temperature, so it’s not prone to expanding or contracting.


  • They last about five to seven years, which is half the lifespan of an amalgam filling.
  • They cost more than amalgam fillings.
  • The placement takes longer, which may be an issue for children and patients with dental anxiety.

Pros and Cons of Amalgam Fillings

It’s also crucial to understand the advantages and disadvantages of amalgam tooth fillings Downey, so you can decide what type of filling to get.


  • They can last up to 15 years.
  • They’re cheaper than composite resin fillings.
  • Due to their strength, they work perfectly for large cavities.
  • Their fast hardening capacity makes them a perfect option for kids and anxious patients.


  • They can corrode, leading to tooth decay and other dental problems.
  • The mercury levels in amalgam fillings are safe, but the filling requires removing a significant amount of tooth structure.
  • They expand and contract with temperature changes, which may result in fractures.
  • They are very noticeable.
  • Some dentists no longer work with amalgam fillings

Deciding Between Amalgam and Composite Fillings

So, which filling is better? That depends.

Cavities are caused by bacteria in your mouth that eat away at the tooth’s enamel and dentin layers. It results in a hole or cavity forming within the tooth structure itself.

The way a dentist repairs this damage depends on many factors, including:

Extent of decay

If your tooth is severely decayed, an amalgam filling is often the better option because it’s stronger and will last longer. Composite resin fillings are typically used to repair small cavities or tooth decay.

Location of cavity

If the cavity is on a front tooth where it can be seen, you’ll likely want a composite resin filling so that your smile remains aesthetically pleasing. An amalgam filling would be a less attractive option in this case. If the cavity is on a molar, you have more flexibility with your treatment options.


If your tooth is in a position where aesthetics is less of a concern, an amalgam filling may be a more affordable option. Composite resin fillings can be more expensive than amalgam fillings.

Over to You

Now you know the differences between composite resin and amalgam fillings, you can make an informed decision about which type of filling is right for you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask your Downey dentist.