William E. Lyons, DDS
Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

Composite & Amalgam Fillings

Almost everyone has had a cavity filled at least once in their lifetime. At Dr. Lyons,we offer our patients a choice in the material used to give their decayed tooth back the support it needs to function normally. In the past, the only options for fillings were colored, silver or gold. Today, we have the option to restore teeth with composite tooth-colored filling material that seamlessly blends with the surrounding teeth. Fillings are meant to be strong and durable, providing support to a tooth that has lost some of its natural structure due to tooth decay. Both amalgam and composite fillings can provide that support, but there are advantages and disadvantages to each.

Composite Fillings

Most patients elect to get white composite fillings instead of silver amalgam fillings for the following reasons:

  • Fewer health risks associated with the use of composite fillings
  • Less post-treatment discomfort and sensitivity
  • The tooth-colored material can be matched to blend in with surrounding teeth
  • Strong and durable
  • Single visit for filling
  • Maximum amount of healthy tooth is preserved
  • Small risk of leakage if bonded only to the enamel
  • Does not corrode
  • Holds up well to the force of biting

Although most patients prefer composite fillings, there are some disadvantages to consider:

  • Tooth-colored fillings are typically more expensive than silver fillings
  • Material shrinks when hardened and could lead to further decay and/or temperature sensitivity
  • The material may wear faster than the surrounding enamel

Amalgam Fillings

Some patients prefer silver fillings to composite fillings for several reasons:

  • The silver amalgam treatment takes less time
  • Silver fillings do not require use of advanced dental tools or techniques, lowering the cost of treatment
  • They have been used for decades and have a solid long-term record

However, there are some drawbacks associated with silver amalgam fillings, including:

  • Temperature changes in the mouth may cause the amalgam to expand and contract over a period of time, which can damage the integrity of the tooth
  • More of the natural tooth structure must be removed in order to prepare the tooth for the silver filling material
  • The silver amalgam material is noticeable and shows that dental work has been done
  • Some patients are concerned about the potential dangers of the mercury that is found in amalgam fillings

No matter what, if you need a filling, Dr. Lyons and his team can ensure you the best option for your lifestyle.

Exams, Cleanings & Prevention

Composite & Amalgam Fillings

Oral Surgery

Full & Partial Dentures

Digital X-Rays

Crowns & Bridges

Porcelain Veneers

Periodontal Disease & Treatments

Sealants & Fluoride


Restoration of Implants


William E. Lyons, DDS
Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

2695 Bechelli Lane
Redding, CA 96002

Office Hours:
Mon - Thur
8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Closed Thurs for lunch
12:00 - 2:00

© 2015 William Lyons, DDS  530-222-4900