Dentists use dental fillings to repair and conceal a cavity or crack in a patient’s tooth. In most cases, the filling involves using dental sealants to cover the opening. The sealant is then left to harden, which helps protect the tooth’s surface from damage. 

These sealants or filling materials mostly consist of silver amalgam or composite resin. If you have cavities, you may opt for either composite or metal filling. In both cases, your dentist will remove the decayed portion of your tooth before applying the filler. 

How to know which filling for teeth is better? Let us weigh in the differences between both filling materials.


Metal amalgam fillings: Amalgam fillings are usually made from metals like silver, gold, tin, copper, and mercury. Metal fillings are strong and long-lasting, but noticeable and visually unapplealing.

Composite fillings: Resin fillings are made from resin use this link material. Although they aren’t as strong as metal, they blend seamlessly with surrounding teeth. 


Amalgam fillings: Metal fillings typically last for a decade or more with proper care and oral hygiene.

Composite fillings: Composite material isn’t as durable as metal and can last for five years. The location also impacts the lasting ability of the fillings. For example, resin fillings can last more than ten years on the front teeth.

Filling stability

Amalgam fillings: They can last longer, but they are temperature sensitive. They can expand and contract when you consume hot or cold food. The expansion of the filling can cause your teeth to crack. It gets easier for food particles and bacteria to trap inside the crack, causing additional decay and pain

Composite fillings: Since composite dental fillings have no metals in them, they aren’t temperature sensitive. Therefore, the resin filling does not change shape or crack when exposed to hot or cold temperatures.

The preparation

Amalgam fillings: Silver fillings do not bond with the tooth, so the dentists must remove a significant portion of the healthy tooth to place the fillings. With the decayed area, the dentist also removes the healthy part of the tooth before applying the filling material. 

Composite fillings: Composite fillings readily bond to the tooth and don’t need the dentist to remove healthy parts of the tooth structure. This allows the tooth to maintain its natural strength. 

The procedure

Amalgam fillings: Before applying the amalgam, the dentist drills out the decayed portion of the tooth. Then he or she prepares the amalgam and applies it to the tooth. The amalgam portion then dries and hardens.

Composite fillings: With composite fillings, the process is a little complex. The dentist must place the composite resin in layers and dry them using ultraviolet light or a laser. This procedure takes longer than silver amalgam fillings.


Amalgam fillings: Compared to composite resin fillings, silver fillings are relatively affordable and perform just as well as resin fillings.

Composite fillings: Composite fillings are a little expensive. This is due to the research and development costs associated with developing the filling and utilization of equipment to cure it. 

Dental Filling in Monroe, NC

Composite fillings match the existing and blend with the surrounding teeth, while silver fillings draw more attention. Although silver fillings stand out more, they are durable and affordable. However, silver fillings are prone to contraction and expansion. 

If you are unsure about which option to go for, we suggest talking to your dentist. Learn more about tooth fillings from our Dr. K by scheduling an appointment online.

Our Dental Practice in Monroe, NC

Monroe Family Dentistry is there for you and your children from day one and we are happy to work with you and your child to start habits from birth. If you live near Monroe, NC call us to schedule an appointment today at 704.776.4278.

These are just some of the services we provide. To learn more about our dental practice in Monroe NC and the services we provide, call us or submit an appointment request.

Differences Between Composite & Metal Fillings
Article Name
Differences Between Composite & Metal Fillings
Before you choose a filling material, consider the differences between them. Today's article talks about composite & silver fillings.
Dr. Mjahed's Team
Monroe Family Dentistry
Monroe Family Dentistry