Porcelain Fillings vs Composite | Which One to Choose?

Porcelain Fillings vs Composite | Which One to Choose?

Tooth decay, cavities, or chipped teeth are prevalent in our society owing to our nutritional habits. Sugar-containing products and junk food often initiate tooth decay. This is aggravated by poor oral hygiene. To cater to these complaints, dentists do porcelain or composite fillings. Once you understand the difference between porcelain filling vs composite fillings, you will be able to make a better decision for yourself.

What is a Filling?

A filling is a material that replaces the lost part of a tooth. The outermost layer of the tooth is known as enamel. The decayed or cavitated part of the tooth must be removed which leaves a hole. A filling material occupies it to restore the normal functioning of the tooth. 

There are mainly two types of fillings. Let’s understand porcelain fillings vs composite. 

What is Composite Filling?

Composite fillings, commonly known as white dental composite fillings, are restorative mixtures of crushed glass fillers and plastic resins that resemble the natural tooth structure. 

In the comparison of porcelain fillings vs composite, composite is usually preferred because:

  • Esthetic appeal
  • Similarity with natural tooth structure
  • Conservative tooth preparation 
  • White dental composite is mercury-free
  • Biocompatible or environment-friendly
  • Greater strength

What are Porcelain Tooth Fillings?

Porcelain tooth fillings are a long-lasting, cost-effective, and stain-resistant alternative to composite filling. These are tougher than composite fillings. However, they are not aesthetically compatible with natural tooth structures. 


The procedure of both porcelain fillings vs composite is different.

What is the Procedure for Composite Fillings?

The procedure of composite fillings begins with explaining the entire procedure to the patients and counseling them. The portion of the exact tooth is identified and assessed. 

Then, the cavitated or decayed part of the tooth is removed, and the remaining tooth structure is cleaned. A proper neat and smooth shape is given to the cavity. A bonding agent is applied to the tooth surface. This forms a bond between the tooth and the composite filling. 

After that, the composite is placed in the cavity. It is given a fine and smooth finish. The color of the composite should be comparable and similar to the color of natural teeth. A specific light source is required to harden or fix the composite in its place. 

Once done, the surface of the restored tooth is polished. A polished surface prevents the accumulation of food debris and bacteria.

What is the Procedure for Porcelain Fillings?

The ceramic or porcelain fillings have to be performed in at least two appointments. For the patients’ and the dentist’s convenience, the first step involves impression-taking of the empty spaces in the tooth. Usually, a temporary filling is done until porcelain fillings (for example, inlays, onlays, overlays) are manufactured.  

Your dentist may then remove a bit more of the decayed area to leave a precise surface that won’t cause further damage. Then, once the porcelain fillings have been crafted in the lab, they will call you back for the final restoration. 

During this visit, the dental inlays made from porcelain will be fixed to the teeth, and the original structure and shape of the tooth will be achieved. For the majority of patients, the process is completed within two appointments. 

However, the number of fillings you have and your additional requirements, like laser teeth whitening, may change the total number of appointments.


While deciding between porcelain fillings vs composite, it is essential to consider the financial aspect as well.

What is the Cost of Composite Fillings?

The cost of composite fillings varies between $150 to $500 dollars. The price depends upon the number of tooth surfaces being restored. Composite filling for one tooth surface will be cheaper than two or three surfaces. 

Composite fillings are more aesthetically pleasing. Therefore, white dental composite is usually a suitable option for front teeth. Composite fillings are cost-effective as compared to porcelain fillings. 

How Much Does Porcelain Filling Cost?

A porcelain filling costs $250 to $1500 per filling. However, going for a porcelain or ceramic crown instead of filling might cost you between $1000 and $3500. Porcelain fillings are comparatively tougher and much more suitable for posterior teeth. 


The life of porcelain tooth or composite fillings is an important aspect to discuss with the patient.

How Long Do Porcelain Fillings Last?

Porcelain or ceramic fillings last a minimum of 15 years. These fillings are much more long-lasting, sustainable, and durable than composite fillings. However, the life of porcelain fillings like inlays and onlays depends upon their:

  • Location
  • Quality of the filling
  • Diet of the patient
  • Oral hygiene
  • The expertise of the dentist

Moreover, the lifespan of porcelain or ceramic fillings is reduced if it is a root canal-treated tooth or if the patient has habits like teeth grinding, cheek biting, tongue thrusting, etc. 

How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?

Composite fillings usually last 5 to 7 years. This period can effectively be increased if proper oral hygiene and nutrition are maintained. However, these fillings have a shorter lifespan than porcelain fillings. 

When Should You Consider Composite Fillings over Porcelain Fillings?

Between porcelain fillings vs composite, you should opt for composite when:

When Should You Consider Porcelain Fillings over Composite Fillings?

Between porcelain fillings vs composite, you should opt for composite when:

  • Larger cavities
  • The patient has a habit of teeth-grinding
  • The patient can afford an expensive dental restoration
  • Aesthetics is not a significant concern
  • Multiple tooth surfaces have to be restored


This article describes vital aspects between porcelain fillings vs composite. To sum it up, composite is the choice of filling material when an aesthetic, cost-effective, durable, and tooth-like restoration is required. However, if the goal is to have a long-lasting filling with minimum appointments, then porcelain fillings can also be a great option.

Experience the excellence of white composite fillings in Montclair, NJ, by booking your appointment with Dr. Arthur Yeh & Associates. We’re here to offer you a budget-friendly yet durable dental plan. Your satisfaction and dental health are the ultimate aim of our dental experts in NJ.