The gym that I am a member of does not have any barbell free weight equipment, only dumbbells and the bar in the Smith machine (as well as other equipment such as cable machines, machines for specific exercises, etc). I realize that the advantage of using free weights over machines is greater use of stabilizing muscles, but I also realize that some lifts are much different when performed with dumbbells vs a barbell.
My question is this: Since no loose barbells are available, is it better to perform lifts like chest presses, dead lifts, etc with the Smith machine or with dumbbells? I already use the Smith machine for squats, but it seems very awkward for a lot of other lifts, and if it's not giving me the advantage of using stabilizing muscles, I'd just as soon use either a specific machine or dumbbells (both of which are in much less demand).
TL;DR: Which is more advantageous, the ability to use heavier weights in a Smith machine, or the added stabilizing needed for dumbbells?