Are Composite Fillings Mercury Free?

Are Composite Fillings Mercury Free? from Brilliant Smiles Lakeland in Lakeland, FLIf you have cavities caused by tooth decay, composite fillings can be used to fill the hole, protect your teeth, and restore your smile. Many people prefer this option because it has a more natural appearance and does not create an eyesore. Others prefer them because they do not contain the same ingredients as traditional amalgam fillings.

The difference between traditional and composite fillings

For over a century, dentists have used metal fillings to treat tooth decay. Research has shown that using an amalgam material, which is made up of many different types of metal, can help improve the strength and longevity of the treatment. Today, some of the materials used in metal or amalgam fillings may include:

  • silver
  • gold
  • mercury
  • copper
  • tin
  • zinc

Because metals are very strong, these types of fillings are quite durable and can last for 15 years or more in patients who maintain good oral hygiene and see a dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups. However, metal fillings can have a few drawbacks, including their unsightly appearance. In addition, they can cause an increase in tooth sensitivity and have even been shown to cause minor allergic reactions in some patients. However, these side effects are rare.

Composite fillings do not include any metals, so there are no concerns for those who may be sensitive to those types of ingredients. Instead, these fillings are made from either glass or quartz mixed with a resin to create a strong, tooth-colored material. While they are effective for treating cavities, they do not last as long as metal fillings. Most patients can expect to have them replaced after five or more years. However, they are less likely to conduct temperatures and cause tooth sensitivity, and they are often more natural-looking, leading to more confidence and a beautiful smile.

Understanding mercury use and safety for dental treatment

Many patients are opposed to metal fillings because they contain mercury. In large amounts, mercury can become very harmful and even dangerous. However, the amount used in a dental filling is well below the threshold for safety.

The American Dental Association takes patient health and wellness very seriously and helps ensure that the materials used for dental treatment are both safe and effective. Time and research have shown that the risks for unsafe levels of mercury exposure from metal fillings are minimal and are far outweighed by the risks of developing serious complications from untreated tooth decay.

Even so, many patients feel uncomfortable about choosing a product that contains mercury for dental treatment. Composite fillings are an excellent alternative. They provide effective results with a mercury-free product.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Composite Fillings in Lakeland, FL


In most situations, composite fillings are an acceptable and even desirable option for treating tooth decay. They are often preferred by patients who are sensitive to metals or want to avoid any additional mercury exposure. However, in some situations, a dentist may still recommend an amalgam filling. Talk with your dentist to determine which option is right for you.

Request an appointment or call Brilliant Smiles Lakeland at 863-658-0052 for an appointment in our Lakeland office.

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