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Amalgam vs. Composite Resin Fillings: Which Is Best?

Amalgam vs. Composite Resin Fillings: Which Is Best?

Sep 01, 2019

If you’ve experienced tooth pain at some point, you may have had a cavity. Tooth decay is the most common reason for dental visits, with patients looking to relieve pain and discomfort. When a cavity develops in the enamel, your old town dental professionals provide premier care. Cavities will need to be removed, and a filling will be placed in the tooth to retain its structural integrity and health.

What’s A Filling?

A filling is used to repair damage in the tooth that is caused by tooth decay and other issues, such as injuries. Your dentist applies them directly to the tooth, filling in the empty area left by the removal of decay. Getting a filling placed involves little to no pain and is done right after decay is removed.

Before the filling is applied, patients can speak with a Airdrie Family Dental staff member to learn their options concerning the material used for the filling. Your dentist in Airdrie uses only the most advanced dental techniques and provide fillings that will fit any preference. Two popular materials for fillings are amalgam and composite resin.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam is material made of mercury, copper, silver, and tin – metals. About half of this filling contains mercury, which binds all of the metals and makes the filling durable and long-lasting. Mercury, on its own, is toxic, but it becomes much safer when combined with these metals in the form of a stable compound.

It’s often referred to as a silver filling because of its color when placed in teeth. They’ve been used in dentistry for decades and are still used in dental offices across the U.S. Your Willowbrook dental professional can use an amalgam filling to repair teeth and restore their strength.

Composite Resin Fillings

Resin composite fillings use ceramic and plastic to form a putty that is placed in teeth to fix decay and damage. The resin matches the color of your teeth, making your smile look balanced. They can also be used to change the appearance of teeth, making enhancements that improve the look of your smile.

When getting a composite resin filling placed, your dentist in Airdrie, AB will choose a shade that matches the natural color of your enamel. Once it’s chosen, the tooth will be cleaned, and the mixture will be applied and molded into shape. A curing light is used to harden the material, which will then be trimmed and shaven to blend in with your biological teeth.

Amalgam vs. Composite Resin

When it comes to which is the better of the two, it is up to your specific oral health and what repairs need to be made to your teeth. Your Airdrie dentist will evaluate your tooth to determine the location of the cavity, how deep it is, how close it is located to the root of the tooth, and more.

Your personal preference will also be taken into consideration, as some patients may prefer the more aesthetic option while others put durability above appearance. Let’s go over some of the major difference between resin composite and amalgam.


Amalgam darkens over time and is visible when smiling, speaking, laughing, or eating. Composite resin blends in with the rest of your teeth, so they’re invisible. Professionals and teenagers may prefer resin, as it doesn’t make their smile stand out in any way.


The costs may be another factor, as resin composite fillings are more expensive than amalgam. This difference in cost is due to the advanced technology that your dentist in Airdrie uses to mix the filling and make it invisible in your teeth.


When comparing durability, your general dentistry professional can provide both amalgam and resin that lasts for ten years or more with proper care from a family dentist near you. Amalgam fillings can last for up to 20 years with immediate dental care at the sign of any problems and pristine oral hygiene.

If you would like to get more information about amalgam or composite resin fillings from a dentist in T4B 3G4, you can contact a professional at Airdrie Family Dental to schedule an appointment and get an assessment of your oral health.