Several alternative materials have been suggested to take the place of amalgam, because of the environmental toxic effects of its mercury component. One such material is gallium-based alloy restoratives. The aim of this in vivo study was to compare the long-term clinical performance of a commercial gallium alloy with an admixed high copper amalgam alloy. For this purpose, 32 gallium and 32 amalgam restorations were placed in molar teeth in 14 human subjects. All the selected patients had at least two molar teeth that required restoration. In this way both restoratives were used in the same oral cavity. The restorations were examined at baseline, 6 months, 1, 2 and 3 years. At baseline, six teeth restored with gallium alloy showed post-operative sensitivity, whereas none of the amalgams were sensitive. At the end of 3 years, only a few amalgam restorations showed slight surface tarnish and marginal integrity loss. None of them needed replacement. Of the 32 gallium restorations placed, five had to be removed because of sensitivity, corrosion and tooth fracture. Also dramatic surface roughness and corrosion were noticed in 12 gallium restoration. According to the results of this clinical study, gallium-based restoratives should not be used before their physical properties are improved.