Are Composite Resin Fillings Safe?

September 1, 2021 Grandville Dental Health Center

man sitting in dental chair smiling

To live a healthy life, everything that we put inside our bodies needs to be safe. That includes what is applied to our teeth. Thanks to developments made over the years, the field of dentistry is able to use new, safer materials for common procedures.

Composite resin, an alternative to metal amalgam fillings, is one of them. This type of filling does not consist of any metal and therefore does not pose a possible health risk unlike amalgam fillings.

 

Continue reading to learn what you need to know and can expect with composite resin fillings.

Composite Resin vs. Metal Amalgam

When you hear the word ‘filling’, it’s likely that an image of shiny metal on top of a tooth comes to mind. Traditionally, dentists only offered metal amalgam fillings to patients because of their ease and durability.

Increased preference for a more natural look, however, led to the popularity of other materials, like composite resin. Made up of an acrylic resin reinforced with a powdered glass filler, composite resin fillings discreetly blend in with the shade of your other teeth.

Aside from their low-profile look, there also exists a health benefit. Unlike metal fillings, composite resin fillings do not contain mercury. While some patients may have no reaction to the mercury, some do. For those susceptible to its effects or simply wanting a metal-free appearance, composite resin fillings are the right choice.

Benefits

Composite fillings possess many advantages when compared to more traditional options. Our Grandville dentists know how distracting metal can be in your smile. Because of this, we’ll recommend composite fillings if you have a cavity.

Benefits of composite resin fillings include:

  • Available in colors that match your natural enamel
  • Durable and strong
  • Can be completed in one visit to our office
  • Minimal removal of healthy tooth structure during placement
  • Resistant against fractures

What to Expect for the Procedure

Before composite fillings can be recommended, our dentists will conduct an oral examination. If the cavity is large enough, we will be able to notice it during this stage but X-rays may be required as well. Once we have spotted the cavity, the procedure can begin.

Our dentists will start by numbing the tooth and surrounding area to ensure you feel no pain or discomfort. Then, we’ll use a dental drill to remove the decayed part of your tooth. With the decay gone, the tooth will then be cleaned and dried before the resin is introduced.

The final stage of the process involves our dentists layering the composite material into the hole in your tooth. A special light will be used to cure or harden each layer of filling to make sure everything is set. Some shaping, contouring, and polishing will happen at the end to guarantee you’re comfortable with the natural-looking result.

How to Prevent Future Cavities

While composite resin fillings are less obvious than metal amalgam, the best option is still no filling at all. Practice regular oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. If you’re able, swishing with an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing and flossing also helps to fight decay.

Outside of the home, we encourage patients to visit our office every six months for a teeth cleaning. Routine cleanings allow our dentists the chance to check for any arising issues and offer advice on keeping teeth cavity-free.

We can also apply dental sealants to teeth for extended protection. Ask our dentists about the easy application procedure and how it can benefit adults and children.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Cavities are never fun but they still should not be ignored. If you’re feeling tooth pain, our cosmetic dentists in Grandville, MI, urge you to come in and allow us to perform an oral examination. This way, we can catch the cavity before it worsens further and fill it with natural, tooth-colored composite resin. Call Grandville Dental Health Center today at (616) 531-0360 to make an appointment or contact us online.

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