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Amalgam or Porcelain Fillings: Which is Best for You?

Amalgam or Porcelain Fillings: Which is Best for You?

Dental fillings are among the most popular treatments recommended to people with cavities. Both are popular because they are effective at restoring tooth function and preventing further decay. And, while new filling materials are being approved, amalgam and porcelain dominate the industry. There are differences between the two, though. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of amalgam and porcelain filings.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam is a mixture of metals such as mercury, silver copper and tin. It also contains small amounts of zinc, palladium and indium. Amalgam fillings have been in use for over 150 years.


  • They are inexpensive compared to porcelain fillings.
  • They are easy to apply; the dentist can complete the filling with one patient visit.
  • Since they are made of metals, these fillings are fairly strong and long-lasting.


  • After placement, amalgam fillings are known to cause great hot and cold sensitivity. This subsides after a few weeks.
  • In some instances, patients become allergic to the some component in the amalgam. The allergic reaction presents itself as an itchy skin rash. If this happens, substitution may be necessary.
  • Amalgam fillings are not good for pregnant women due to the presence of mercury.
  • They are unattractive.

Porcelain Fillings

Porcelain fillings come from (you guessed it) porcelain. Porcelain is a white, glass-like, non-porous, translucent ceramic material. These fillings are known to offer some advantages to amalgam fillings.

Porcelain fillings have aesthetically pleasing results. The material matches the natural color of your teeth.


  • They help to preserve the natural structure of your teeth.
  • They are not affected by the rise and fall in temperature like amalgam.
  • Porcelain fillings are strong and durable.
  • They can withstand stronger chewing forces.


  • They can fail to merge with the opposing teeth, causing an uneven surface on the teeth.
  • The adjacent healthy tooth will chip to accommodate the porcelain filling.
  • Some people might become allergic to the material used in the filling.

Now you have a quick comparison of the two most common filling materials. Whichever dental filling method you decide to use, make sure you get advice from a qualified dentist. A good dentist will help you find the best tooth filling material.

  • My hygienist was Claudia, and I now have a best friend forever. She was so welcoming and kind, put me completely at ease, walked me through all of the procedures, costs, and reasons why, and introduced me to everyone who walked in or by the door. Dr. Smith was equally as helpful and amazing. Every person went out of their way to ensure my comfort and understanding. I NEVER write reviews, and was so impressed that I couldn't wait to get home and write one!

  • We love IHDC! They do everything possible to ensure our safety, and Alaine is an absolute gem! She treats my daughter with the patience of a saint and we love her for it! The whole team is amazing!

  • If you’re a believer in good vibes and positive energy then this is the place for you. Everyone here is so warm & inviting. They really do feel like family, ya know, the ones you actually like! I’ve been going here for years but when I had my daughter, there was no question about where i would take her for her dental needs. They are so great with her and she is never nervous when we go because they just radiate positivity and make her feel so calm and relaxed. I can’t recommend them enough. Oh, they are also really great with Botox 😉

  • Could not possibly thank Dr. Houck, Gabby, and staff enough for the wonderful care I receive. In addition to excellent dentistry, their compassionate approach and communication really sets them apart. They are always kind, caring, and take time to explain things in detail. Easy to contact the office with any needs, and they are always quick to respond. Highly recommend.

  • Just wanted to leave a quick review on Claudia! She is an excellent dental hygienist. She is very thorough with her cleanings, she has a sweet personality and takes the time to explain things to you. I 10/10 would recommend Claudia to all of my friends and family.

  • Amazing place. Started taking our family there in 2014. Professional, kind, and most importantly excellent at every level of service.

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