Pros and Cons of Different Filling Materials

Pros and Cons of Different Filling Materials

Dental fillings have proved to be very reliable in repairing cracked or decayed teeth. Here, we tell you the pros and cons of different filling materials.

Amalgam Fillings

These dental fillings are silver in color and are made of a mixture of mercury and silver alloy.


  1. They are durable: These silver fillings are designed to remain functional for up to 20 years. They usually outlast composite fillings.
  2. They are very strong: Unlike other dental fillings, amalgams are very strong. They can withstand all kinds of chewing forces.
  3. Less expensive: Compared to other dental fillings, amalgams are less expensive.


  1. Poor aesthetics: Since amalgams are made from silver and mercury, they won’t match the color of your natural teeth.
  2. Destruction of tooth structure: To place the amalgam fillings, the dentist has to create a space in your tooth by removing some of its healthy parts.
  3. Teeth discoloration: Amalgams are known to cause a grayish color to the nearby tooth structure.
  4. Cracks and breaks: Although it is normal for teeth fillings to expand and contract when you take something hot or cold, amalgams seem to cause a more comprehensive degree of expansion and shrinkage, causing more cracks and breaks.
  5. Allergic reactions: Amalgams are likely to cause allergic reactions due to the elements of mercury present.

Cast Gold Fillings

Cast gold dental fillings are made of a combination of gold and other metals like copper and silver.


  1. Durable: Cast gold fillings are designed to remain useful for 15 years or more. They do not corrode.
  2. Strong: These dental fillings have proved strong enough to withstand chewing forces.
  3. Aesthetics: Compared to silver fillings cast gold fillings are more appealing to the eyes.


  1. Expensive: Cast gold fillings are more expensive than other standard dental fillings.
  2. Regular dental visits: The process of placing these fillings is multifaceted. So, you need to book at least two dental visits.
  3. Galvanic shock: Cast gold fillings shouldn’t be placed near amalgams because they can cause galvanic shock (intense pain). This is because of an electric current that occurs when the metals and saliva interact.

Composite fillings

Composite dental fillings are made from powdered glass quartz, ceramic, Silica, and other particles.


  1. Aesthetics: Composite fillings are available in colors that resemble your natural teeth.
  2. Bonding: They offer a micro-mechanical bond to your tooth structure, giving your teeth additional support.
  3. Tooth-sparing Preparation: Little tooth structure is removed when preparing for composite fillings.


  1. Less durable: They wear out sooner than other dental fillings. They only last for five years.
  2. Long chair time: The process of applying the composite material takes longer than placing other fillings. You also have to schedule more than one office visit.
  3. Expensive: Composite dental fillings cost twice the cost of other fillings like amalgams.
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