Silver Amalgam vs. Composite Fillings | Walnut Creek Dentist

Woman with flowerOur mouths are homes to all types of bacteria and without proper oral hygiene tooth decay can occur, resulting in cavities. Once cavities start to develop you must have the decayed areas of the tooth removed and filled with a durable material. The choices you are offered to fill the void are composite filling or silver amalgam, more commonly known as silver fillings. Before there were composite filling, the only filling choice patients has were silver fillings. Fortunately, there have been many advances in dentistry and now you have the option to choose a more aesthetically pleasing route with composite fillings, also known as tooth colored fillings. The following compares composite fillings to the traditional silver amalgam fillings:

Composite Fillings


  • Preserves more of your natural tooth
  • No health risks with composite fillings
  • Composite fillings can be matched to your natural tooth
  • Reports of less post-treatment sensitivity and discomfort


  • Composite fillings are higher in cost
  • Tooth colored fillings require more skill on your dentists part

Silver Amalgam Fillings


  • Silver fillings are lower is cost due to the materials used
  • Doesn’t require special tools or techniques to be placed
  • Longer lasting compared to tooth colored fillings
  • Take less time to place


  • Temperature changes in the mouth can cause the silver fillings to contract or expand over time
  • Silver amalgam is noticeable
  • Some patients fear the potential danger of mercury found in the material
  • More of the natural tooth has to be removed

To learn which procedure best suits your personal needs, contact Barmby and Frick Prosthodontists in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit our website at for more information regarding restorative dentistry.

Tooth Colored Fillings | Dentist in Walnut Creek CA

tooth fillings

A composite (tooth-colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion will be removed and the tooth will then be filled with a composite filling.

There are many types of filling materials available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. You and can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today. Because composite fillings are tooth-colored or white fillings, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.

As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long-lasting, beautiful smile.

Reasons for composite fillings:

  • Chipped teeth.
  • Closing space between two teeth.
  • Cracked or broken teeth.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Worn teeth.

How are composite fillings placed?

Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment. While the tooth is numb, decay is removed as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed. However, this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.

You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.

If you are in need of a filling or want to replace your mercury fillings with new composite fillings, call Barmby and Frick Prosthodontics at (925) 934-5526. Visit the website at