White Fillings in Columbus OH
What are resin composite fillings?
Resin composite fillings are made of ceramic and plastic compounds. Because resins mimic the appearance of natural teeth, these fillings have been used in front teeth for years. When they first appeared, however, resin compounds weren’t strong enough to be used in back teeth, where high-pressure grinding and chewing require greater durability.
In the past 10 years, technology has improved enough to allow the use of resin material in posterior or back teeth. Still, many dental plans including Delta Dental don’t cover resin fillings in teeth that aren’t visible in a smile, and many dentists choose not to use resins for one or more of these reasons:
- With more durable resin material available for only a decade, resins haven’t stood the test of time in teeth where grinding and chewing result in heavy wear; by contrast, the durability of amalgam fillings is well documented — the average life span of amalgams is 8 to 10 years, but many last 20 years or more.
- Amalgam is one of the best filling materials when dentists need to place fillings in areas of the mouth that are difficult to keep dry, such as molars (back teeth) or cavities below the gumline. Resin fillings need a specific environment in which to be placed; for example, the prepared tooth must be completely dry when the resin material is being applied and cured. Clinical experience has consistently shown that amalgam is, for a great many situations, still the most reliable filling material for long-term, low-maintenance function.
- Resin costs more than amalgam, which can make the cost of the service higher than for a comparable amalgam filling.
For these reasons, the majority of dental health carriers pay for coverage of resin fillings in teeth that are visible in a patient’s smile. For example, virtually all of Delta Dental’s plans cover resin fillings on the teeth where their cosmetic benefit is critical: the six front teeth (incisors and cuspids) and on the facial (cheek side) surfaces of the next two teeth (bicuspids).