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Is Composite Filling Worth It? What Are the Possible Side Effects?

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Is Composite Filling Worth It? What Are the Possible Side Effects?

Dr. Hosseini

Studies indicate that tooth decay is the second most common disease after the common cold. An estimated one in every four adults has a dental cavity that requires treatment. Cavity formation or tooth decay is typical amongst people of all ages, whether adults or children. Eventually, everyone in his lifespan develops some form of the hole, no matter how good dental hygiene is maintained. Fluoride treatment is best if you have a cavity in its early stages. However, at times, cavities or decay progress beyond the earliest stage. Here's when the role of dental fillings comes in. 

Dental fillings help fill a cavity and treat tooth decay that is currently present in the teeth. Moreover, it prevents further damage by removing areas of tooth decay. Nowadays, different types of dental fillings are available in the market, and the right choice depends on your need and the dentist's advice. A composite filling is one famous type of dental filling that help repair a tooth and provides better support. If you have a cavity, you might be looking for its best possible treatment. 

A composite filling is usually required for damaged, cracked, or chipped teeth. Also, if there is a presence of brown or white spots on the teeth, many dentists recommend it. Now, you might be wondering if a composite filling is safe and how to know if it's the right choice for you. Here's what we'll discuss in this article. 

Composite Filling: What Is It and When Is It Used? 

Composite fillings are "tooth-colored fillings" made of ceramic and plastic material. They are becoming quite popular in dentistry, from fixing minor cosmetic flaws to blending in seamlessly with any tooth color. They are the perfect option for mending cavities and treating moderate decay. 

Composite fillings are excellent choices for teeth that are exposed or visible when the person smiles or talks. They give a natural look to the teeth and are effective in repairing cracked or chipped teeth. They are suitable for small fillings and best for front or back teeth. However, composite fillings can only withstand moderate pressure, and professionals are not recommending this filling for molar teeth.  

 As per the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), in 2017, the prevalence of dental caries accounted for approximately 90% among adults aged 20-64 years. The prevalence surged with age, affecting 96% of the older adults aged 65 years and above. 

                             Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov) 

 There are several reasons to choose composite (or white) fillings to get the best results. If you agree with the following, you should consider a dentist who offers composite filling: 

  • You Want to Preserve Your Natural Tooth Structure

Composite fillings, unlike amalgam fillings, are flexible and bond well with the tooth's surface. They require less drilling than other fillings and can preserve more of your healthy tooth structure. 

Composite fillings are excellent dental restorations that help repair chipped or fractured teeth. Moreover, there are few chances of tooth sensitivity after the procedure. Though composite fillings are durable, sometimes, they need fixing. While repairing, your natural tooth structure still gets preserved, and you enjoy better dental health. 

  • You Do Not Want Mercury or Metals in The Mouth.  

Amalgam fillings are made of 50% mercury and can cause specific reactions in the mouth. These include gum inflammation, painful sores, or mouth ulcers. Mercury vapor can emit from these fillings, and they might cause serious health concerns. If you are allergic to certain elements, there might be better options than amalgam fillings. 

Though this fact is still debatable among dentists, many patients don't want mercury in their mouths. If you belong to the same category or are allergic to metals, composite fillings are best to consider. 

  • You Only Require a Few drillings, Just Like Other Filling Types. 

When preparing a tooth for a filling, removing a sizeable chunk of healthy enamel in addition to the damaged area may be necessary. It's essential to do this to insert the filling, but it significantly compromises the tooth's integrity. 

Composite fillings bind exceptionally well to the tooth and need significantly less tooth removal than silver fillings. As common knowledge, keeping the tooth structure intact helps maintain optimal oral health. 

  • You Want Better Functionality and A Natural Look. 

Composite filling enhances the tooth's functionality and gives a better look. It is especially true if you have a cavity in your front teeth and want a natural-looking filling without being noticeable. A composite filling helps to elevate your confidence, and you feel better, as well. 

Composite fillings are crafted to match the shade of your teeth and do not flash a metal filling while you talk or smile. These tooth-colored fillings blend with your natural smile and help preserve oral health. 

Pros and Cons of Composite Fillings: 

Like any other type of filling, a composite filling has its relevant pros and cons. Let's have a quick look into these: 


  1. Composite fillings are durable and safe and promote a healthy tooth structure. 
  2. They use a less-invasive option to place the filling than a silver filling. 
  3. This filling blends in by giving a natural look that is virtually invisible. 
  4. They don't only work for cavities but also improve overall oral health. 
  5. Composite fillings harden super easily and let your dentist complete the process quickly. 


  1. The lifespan of composite fillings is about half of the amalgam fillings. In other words, composite fillings last for about five to seven years. 
  2. These fillings are expensive, and everybody needs help to afford them. However, they are an excellent value for money, especially in the long run. 
  3. The placement time for these fillings lasts longer. Therefore, these fillings are unsuited for children, people with special needs, or dental anxiety. 
  4. The patient's teeth must be kept dry throughout the procedure, making it difficult for many. 
  5. The composite fillings cannot withstand high pressure and do not suit people with bruxism (chronic teeth grinding). 

Composite fillings are indeed worth it if the pros outweigh the cons. Also, if you fulfill the criteria of composite fillings, they can bring many oral health benefits to your life. However, asking your dentist if composite fillings suit your oral health is essential. 

What are the Potential Side Effects of Composite Fillings: 

Composite fillings are generally considered safe and do not cause any serious issues. Some composite resins have low BPA (Bisphenol-A), an industrial chemical used in plastic manufacturing. The American Dental Association (ADA) states that low BPA levels do not cause serious health concerns. However, if BPA increases over time, it can cause various illnesses or conditions. Some of these include: 

  • Endocrine disorders
  • Reproductive problems
  • Hormonal disruptions
  • Behavioral problems (in children)
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension, etc

It's better to ask your dentist about the BPA level present in your composite resin and have a deeper discussion. Also, tell him about severe health issues (if any) before the procedure. Moreover, it's good to consider choosing a biological dentist who follows a whole-body approach to ensure your resin doesn't contain BPA and other toxic elements. 

Sometimes, composite resins cause allergic reactions in patients. These include: 

  • itchiness
  • skin rash
  • inflammation or swelling
  • temporary tooth sensitivity

However, only some have these reactions; they are rare, unlike more common amalgam fillings. 


Besides repairing a small cavity, a composite filling can restore the tooth's functionality. It is more natural and flexible and bonds well with the tooth's structure. Visit your dentist if you need composite filling to help restore your decayed tooth. 

Contact your Pinole dentists, Dr. Azadeh Hosseini and Dr. Ghazal Hosseini at Top Pinole Dental to know more about Composite Filling and possible side effects.


What should you know about composite fillings?

*This media/content or any other on this website does not prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. Therefore, we highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition*