2016 S Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60616

DENTArt Chicago

Caring Dentists

Amalgam vs. Composite Fillings

You never want to hear that you have a cavity. However, with all the advancements in science and dentistry, there are many options to fill cavities. Silver amalgam fillings used to be the only option, but both amalgam and composite fillings are now available for a more enjoyable experience and better results.

Below are some of the main differences between the two types of fillings as well as some pros of each.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings are a mix of a few different metals, which have liquid mercury and a powdered alloy made of silver, tin, and copper. The elemental mercury reacts with the silver, tin, and copper particles, allowing it to form the amalgam.

In order to be placed on the tooth, the dentist drills the tooth to remove any decay. Powered alloy is then mixed with liquid mercury to form the amalgam putty, which is placed carefully into the cavity and quickly hardens. Half of the amalgam filling is made from mercury, and it’s a vital part of the filling. It binds the alloy particles together so that the filling becomes strong and hard.

Benefits of an amalgam filling:

  • Very durable and can last a long – less likely to break than other types of fillings

  • If a patient has a high risk of tooth decay, large tooth preparations, or excessive moisturize, amalgam is the most effective

  • Least expensive type of filling

  • Larger cavities can be filled more effectively

  • Has been used for over 150 years

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings have been growing in popularity due to their more natural appearance. The material used can be customized to perfectly match the color of your tooth so that they’re virtually invisible. The composite mixture is a combination of acrylic resin that’s reinforced with powdered glass filler. This mixture is durable, effective, and is used for other restorative dental procedures such as veneers, inlays, and crowns.

This type of filling provides very effective durability for small or medium-sized cavities, and is strong enough to withstand pressure from chewing. They’re used on both the front and back teeth.

While they can be slightly more expensive, they also come with a slew of additional benefits that amalgam fillings don’t have. They can also last for about 7-10 years before needing to be replaced. You may experience very mild sensitivity to hot and cold foods directly after receiving the filling, but this will subside shortly after and you won’t even be able to tell you have the filling.

Benefits of an amalgam filling:

  • Doesn’t require as much drilling into the tooth

  • Hardens in just a few short seconds

  • Insulates against tooth sensitivity

  • Can be easily repaired

  • Also fixes chips and cracks

  • Bond very well to your enamel

  • Less visible

How Do I Know If I Really Need a Filling?

While hearing that you have a cavity isn’t ideal, you can trust that the team at DentART will take care of it for you with maximum efficiency. Our dentists have years of experience in restorative dentistry and can ensure that your oral health will be restored to prime condition.

There are many different signs that you may have a cavity, so if you think you may have one or you’re not sure if it’s another dental issue, we encourage you to contact our dentist in the West Loop today.

Eat Better, Smile Brighter.

DENTArt Chicago

At DENTArt Chicago, we combine our extensive training, state-of-the-art techniques, and a patient-centered approach to dentistry to make your visit as comfortable and effective as possible. Our dentists are members of many important dental organizations, including:

  • American College of Prosthodontists
  • American Association of Orthodontists
  • Academy of General Dentistry

Ready to love the look and feel of your smile? Schedule an exam by contacting us online or calling us at (312) 929-4783.

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    *Disclaimer: results are not guaranteed, may not be permanent, and can vary per individual. Some images are of models, not actual patients.