Amalgam vs White Fillings

Table of Contents

Amalgam vs White Fillings Options

The presence of a cavity in your teeth gives acid from sugary foods access to enter the hole and destroy your tooth internally. If the cavity is not treated correctly, it can cause painful bouts because the gums, roots, and nerves are already infected.

To avoid experiencing intense pain in your tooth, you must protect it from additional damage by infection attacks. However, one of the effective solutions to safeguard your tooth from infection is filling the hole (cavity) with a dental filling.

There are several types of dental fillings for you to choose from, the most common being amalgam, white composite, and porcelain fillings.

Choosing the dental filling of your choice can be very daunting because there are different types of dental fillings. But, the most popular ones are the white composite, amalgam, and porcelain fillings.

Dental Fillings QuestionsAmalgam vs White Fillings

Dental fillings are the least restorative treatment used by dentists for dental problems. The fillings don’t have any base material. There are different types of dental fillings, and what they all have in common is the use of a soft and flexible material that fills up a cavity in a tooth. Also, it is used as a means of treating tooth decay.

Dental fillings fill your tooth’s cavity (hole), so you can have seamless oral health, a sound bite balance, and a reduced risk of future dental issues. Dental fillings are affordable, but they can’t last forever.

What Are Fillings Used For? 

Dental fillings are used for several things, but the most common is cavity treatment. So, it helps in adding strength and structure to your tooth. In treating a cavity, the dentist must remove the decayed tooth structure because the treatment helps in restoring oral health but makes the treated tooth vulnerable to more decay.

After a restorative treatment, your tooth may be filled with a pre-formed filling known as an inlay or inlay. Once the tooth decay has been removed or the patient has undergone a root canal treatment, the patient can be fitted with a dental crown by the dentist. A dental crown encloses the tooth with a ceramic cap that helps in protecting the underlying tooth.

What are my dental fillings options?

Dental fillings are of metal filling and Composite resin (Non-metal).

Metal fillings are made from silver or gold amalgam (i.e., a mixture of mercury and metal). While Composite resin, also known as White Filling, is a bio-compatible mixture of silica (glass) and plastic. The presence of silica gives the white filling a reflective feature, thereby giving it a striking resemblance to the enamel.

Amalgam Dental Fillings

Among other types of dental fillings, amalgam dental fillings are the cheapest. However, most dental patients don’t choose them because of two reasons, which are:

  1. Leaking of mercury
  2. Unattractive appearance
  3. Leaking of Mercury

As regards the composition weight of the filling, more than 50% of all amalgam filling is filled with mercury. Mercury is known to be an extremely toxic substance that poses a threat to the health of anyone exposed to high doses of it.

However, the unclear issue of mercury is about the effects or risks of being exposed to a low dose of mercury for the long term, similar to getting an amalgam dental filling.

Since the amount of mercury in amalgam dental fillings is low, and amalgam fillings are often left in the tooth for more than ten years, the dangers of being exposed to mercury for a long time is a significant concern.

Exposure to mercury is life threatening and can cause health problems like an impaired immune system, neurological damage, and kidney failure. Also, patients can’t know when mercury is leaking from the filling since mercury is odorless and tasteless.

Unattractive appearance

Another disadvantage of amalgam fillings is the fact that it has an unattractive appearance.

Amalgam dental fillings are widely known for their dark-colored appearance, attracting unwanted attention to what’s on your tooth. In the past, the appearance of amalgam fillings was massively endured by people because there weren’t any other possible alternatives.

But, with the arrival of other dental fillings like porcelain and composite resin fillings, people can enjoy all the aesthetic benefits of getting colored tooth fillings that perfectly blend with their other healthy teeth.

Every year, thousands of dental patients are doing away with their old amalgam fillings and replacing them with the latest, more attractive, and more secure ones.

White Fillings

These latest aesthetic, metal-free, tooth-colored fillings that are alternatives to amalgam fillings are called White fillings. They are the most preferred dental filling because of their natural teeth appearance and because they provide extraordinary strength compared to older versions, bonding features that ensure a straightforward procedure, and excellent adherence to the patient’s teeth structure.

White fillings are not limited to restoring a decayed tooth but can also be used for cosmetic improvements for Smiling since the teeth’ color and shape can be changed.

What are the advantages of white fillings?

The primary reason most dental patients prefer composite fillings is because of the cosmetic effects. Just like other fillings, composites help in protecting your teeth after the decayed tooth has been removed to avoid the destruction of the remaining tooth structure.

Also, white fillings help in preventing any sensitivity that can occur after the decayed tooth has been removed.

Benefits of White Fillings

White fillings (Tooth-colored fillings) are now the replacement choice of many dental patients because of the following reasons:

Reduced Risk of Sensitivity

Composite resin doesn’t transfer heat as fast as metals. This quality helps the patients not to have any unpleasant sensitivity whenever they eat cold or hot food and drinks. Patients with silver amalgam fillings must be careful when taking hot or cold food and beverages. But white fillings help insulate your tooth from any temperature changes.


White fillings are safer than other dental fillings. After it has been used over time, metal can leak from the tooth into the bloodstream. Silver amalgam contains traces of mercury, which is called neurotoxin. However, white fillings are bio-compatible and don’t contain any harmful chemicals or metals.


White fillings don’t expand due to temperature changes. Silver amalgam fillings expand because of temperature variations. After a while, these temperature variations will damage the surroundings of the tooth structure.

Natural-looking Outcomes

White fillings are cosmetically attractive and enticing. Also, the composite resin is commonly used for a cosmetic dental procedure called dental bonding. White fillings can be shaped or designed to match or blend in with the color and shape of the surrounding tooth structure. White fillings material is soft and flexible before it is hardened, so it can easily be shaped with the tooth structure.

Also, the composite fillings are designed to match the natural luster of teeth without being able to tell any differences. However, after it has hardened, it can still be polished to make it look like your natural tooth so that you won’t be able to tell the difference between your fillings and your other teeth.

How are fillings placed?

Before the dental filling treatment, the treatment site must be adequately sanitized and cleaned, and a unique etching compound is used to prepare the treatment site.

The etching compound opens up natural microscopic pores on the surface of the enamel so that the composite resin can have a solid and effective bond on the tooth’s surface. After preparing your tooth, the composite resin will be carefully molded over the treatment site. Then, the filling will perfectly blend with the surrounding of your tooth structure.

After the resin has been successfully placed, a special light is used to harden the fillings. After the material has been cured, the dentist will check your bite to be sure that the composite resin isn’t interfering with your bite. Then if anything needs to be adjusted, it will be done.

There isn’t any recovery time associated with composite resin, and the side effects are quite rare.

Maintaining Your Dental Fillings

Maintaining white fillings is not difficult. With proper and adequate maintenance, white fillings can last for several years. However, you must be careful with what you eat. Hard texture foods like nuts, popcorn seeds, and strong candies can chip off or quickly wear off your fillings. Typically, these foods are not suitable for the teeth, so reducing the intake is better.

You must take specific steps that will help prevent tooth decay, which can loosen or remove your fillings, and they include: flossing, brushing twice or more daily, reducing your sugar intake, and scheduling teeth cleaning with your dentist helps your fillings last longer.

During your dental visit, your dentist must check your fillings for any signs of wear. So, if your fillings need any replacement, it can either be done that day or on your next visit. Removing and replacing old fillings takes nothing more than an hour.  Early replacement of a worn dental filling can help in preventing tooth decay. So, you must go to the dental clinic to check your fillings at least once a year.

Factors to consider when choosing fillingsAmalgam vs White Fillings Sore Tooth

Nowadays, thousands of dental patients can’t do without replacing their old amalgam dental fillings with the latest attractive and more secure type of fillings every year. However, selecting the dental filling of your choice depends on different factors.

For instance, if you need a filling at the front of your teeth, you may have to choose the white fillings due to their aesthetic features. Since the amalgam is dark-colored, unattractive, and sticks out, making it obvious.

As for your molar teeth, located in the back of your mouth where aesthetics is not a significant concern, amalgam fillings may still serve a purpose. However, if you are concerned about potential health hazards, non-mercury porcelain, and composite fillings will be the better choice.

However, if the dental filling is for your molar teeth at the back of your mouth, where you don’t have to bother about the attractiveness or beauty of the filling, then amalgam fillings can be considered. Although, if you’re worried about the health hazards that come with the significant components of amalgam, and mercury, you can choose non-mercury porcelain and composite fillings.

Also, your dentist can guide you in selecting the filling that best suits your dental problem. Your dentist must review your old fillings, especially if it’s amalgam fillings, during your next visit to the clinic.

If you’re experiencing any above problems, you should replace the current fillings to avoid future issues.