The Pros & Cons of Composite Fillings vs. Traditional Fillings

The Pros & Cons of Composite Fillings vs. Traditional Fillings

When it comes to treating cavities, dental fillings are a common solution to restore the integrity and function of damaged teeth. While traditional amalgam fillings have been used for decades, composite fillings have gained popularity due to their aesthetic appeal and other advantages. In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of composite fillings versus traditional fillings to help you make an informed decision about which option is right for you.

Composite Fillings:

  1. Aesthetic Appeal: Composite fillings are made from a tooth-colored resin material that can be matched to the natural color of your teeth. This makes them virtually invisible and ideal for filling cavities in visible areas of the mouth, such as the front teeth.
  2. Conservative Treatment: Composite fillings require less removal of healthy tooth structure compared to traditional amalgam fillings. This means that more of the natural tooth can be preserved, resulting in a stronger and more durable restoration.
  3. Versatility: Composite fillings can be used to repair cavities of all sizes and shapes, including small, medium, and large cavities. They can also be used for cosmetic purposes, such as repairing chipped or broken teeth or filling in gaps between teeth.
  4. Bonding Strength: Composite fillings bond directly to the tooth surface, creating a strong and durable restoration that helps support the remaining tooth structure. This bonding strength can help prevent further decay and damage to the tooth.
  1. Cost: Composite fillings are typically more expensive than traditional amalgam fillings. The cost can vary depending on factors such as the size and location of the cavity, as well as the complexity of the procedure.
  2. Durability: While composite fillings are durable and long-lasting, they may not last as long as traditional amalgam fillings. Composite fillings are more prone to wear and may need to be replaced sooner, especially if they are used to fill large cavities or areas of heavy chewing pressure.
  3. Sensitivity: Some patients may experience temporary sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures after receiving a composite filling. This sensitivity usually resolves on its own within a few days or weeks but can be a concern for some individuals.

Traditional Amalgam Fillings:

  1. Strength and Durability: Traditional amalgam fillings are made from a mixture of metals, including silver, mercury, tin, and copper. This makes them extremely strong and durable, making them suitable for use in areas of the mouth with heavy chewing pressure.
  2. Cost-Effectiveness: Amalgam fillings are generally less expensive than composite fillings, making them a more cost-effective option for patients on a budget or those with limited dental insurance coverage.
  3. Quick and Easy Placement: Traditional amalgam fillings can be placed in a single dental visit and require minimal tooth preparation. This makes them a convenient option for patients who need to have cavities filled quickly and efficiently.
  1. Aesthetic Concerns: Unlike composite fillings, traditional amalgam fillings are silver or metallic in appearance, which can be noticeable when smiling or talking. This aesthetic concern may be a deterrent for individuals who prefer a more natural-looking restoration.
  2. Expansion and Contraction: Amalgam fillings can expand and contract in response to changes in temperature, such as hot and cold foods and beverages. Over time, this expansion and contraction can weaken the tooth structure and increase the risk of fractures or cracks.
  3. Removal of Healthy Tooth Structure: Traditional amalgam fillings require more removal of healthy tooth structure compared to composite fillings. This can weaken the tooth and increase the risk of future dental problems, such as fractures or decay.

Both composite fillings and traditional amalgam fillings offer unique advantages and disadvantages when it comes to treating cavities. While composite fillings are prized for their aesthetic appeal and conservative treatment approach, traditional amalgam fillings are valued for their strength, durability, and cost-effectiveness. Ultimately, the choice between composite fillings and traditional fillings depends on factors such as your aesthetic preferences, budget, and dental needs. Consult with your dentist to discuss which option is best suited for your individual circumstances and to ensure the optimal restoration of your smile.

Paradise Dental Logo


1711 Lakewood Ranch Blvd
Bradenton, FL 34211

Mon – Thu: 8am-1pm; 2pm-5pm
Friday | By appointment