Dental fillings: porcelain, amalgam or composite resin?

Dental fillings are a great way to restore function to a damaged or decayed tooth. Dentists have several options for the type of filling material to use on patient’s teeth. Here are some of the pros and cons of three common filling materials.


Amalgam fillings, invented in the early 1800s with mercury, were popular because they were cheaper and easier to use. One big drawback was mercury poisoning. Over time, these fillings changed, and the current variety became popular in the 1960s.

Often called silver fillings because of their silver color, amalgam fillings are composed of a metal mixture. About half of it is mercury, and the other half is silver, tin and copper.

When the dentist inserts it into a tooth, the mixture hardens pretty quickly. Mercury is what binds all the metals together and makes the filling strong and durable. However, because some find the use of mercury unappealing, the difficulty the metal has bonding to teeth and the dark color, amalgam fillings aren’t as popular as other filling alternatives.

Composite Resin

Popular in modern dentistry, composite resin fillings are made of glass particles and acrylic resin. Viscosity varies in this filling type. Dentists use a “curing” light to harden the material once it’s in the tooth. Halogen and LED are the two main types of dental curing lights. These devices allow the dentist to take more time to shape and place the composite resin.

In addition to that extra work time for the dentist, advantages composite resin fillings have over amalgam fillings include multiple colors to match a patient’s tooth color, they are mercury free, and they bond better to teeth. For small or simple repair or restoration work, composite resin fillings are easy to use.

Composite resin is not always stronger or longer lasting than amalgam fillings.


Ceromer fillings, made of fine porcelain particles and composite resin, are strong. Dentists place the material in the tooth in a creamy consistency, form it into the desired shape and then use a curing light to finish the process.

Ceromer fillings are stable and maintain their shape and size. They are long-lasting, resistant to breaking and usually blend in with other teeth so well that the fillings are not noticeable. Porcelain fillings are great for large restorations where the tooth needs strength.
Among its disadvantages is the number of brands available on the market because each is different, which makes using ceromers fillings technique sensitive for the dentist.


Ceramics for fillings are stronger and esthetics. It should have a minimum dimension to prepare and restore.
Scanning and laboratory time is needed to fabricate and bond to the teeth.

Implantation Dental Center

Getting the right filling material can be achieved via dental consultation, exam and diagnosis. Contact us at Implantation Dental Center in Plantation, Florida. Our staff can help you make the right decision to give you the best restorative function and appearance. In some cases, older fillings may need to be replaced with newer materials for a better aesthetic appearance. We will discuss each scenario with you at your first appointment and prepare a plan of care – so contact us! We look forward to meeting with you at our dental office.

(954) 476-0770