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Comparison Between Amalgam and Composite Restorative Materials

SL no 1. Amalgam A mixture of mercury and silver alloy powder that forms a hard solid metal filling . . Composite A mixture of submicron glass filler and acrylic resin that forms a solid tooth-coloured restoration


Silver or grey metallic color does not mimic tooth color

Mimics natural tooth color and translucency

3. 4.

Cannot be used as anterior restorations Requires more removal of tooth structure for adequate retention and thickness of the filling

Can be used as anterior restorations Adhesive bonding permits Less tooth structure removal Depends on extent of lesion


Well defined and skilful cavity preparation is required which may extend beyond the lesion


Good in moderate to large size restorations

Good in small-to-moderate size restorations


Moderately tolerant to the presence of moisture during placement

Must be placed in well controlled field of operation; very little tolerance to presence of moisture during placement


Tolerant to a wide range of clinical placement conditions

Direct composite restorations are only indicated when patients have excellent oral hygiene, due to the greater adherence of plaque that occurs on this type of materials


Microleakage is low

High leakage


Despite the development of initial infiltration in the margin of an amalgam restoration, the formation of corrosion products gradually saddles the space between the restoration and the tooth, developing a marginal seal that improves with time

The relatively high incidence of secondary caries may be explained by the negative effects of polymerization shrinkage


Risk of secondary caries is low

High due to polymerization shrinkage and microleakage

Comparison Between Amalgam and Composite Restorative Materials

12. Brittle, subject to chipping on filling edges Moderate resistance to fracture in high-load restorations 13. Highly resistant to wear and good bulk strength Can wear against normal tooth structure or porcelain 14. Amalgam seems to have a greater wear resistance than Composite and, for patients with heavy occlusion, bruxism or restorations with all occlusal contacts in the restorative material, amalgam is usually the material of choice 15. Well tolerated with rare occurrences of allergenic response 16. Early sensitivity to hot and cold possible Monomers like HEMA, TEGDMA are allergic to some patients Sensitivity varies; Sensitivity can last up to 6 months after placement 17. Good to excellent durability Can be subject to slight staining and discoloration over time 18. Generally lower cost Cost is moderate; Actual cost of fillings depends on size and technique 19. Easy and not time consuming procedure Technique sensitive and time taking procedure Cases with normal occlusal loading and at least some occlusal contacts in tooth structure, resincomposite restorations perform well