Resin fillings are a unique system of tooth-colored fillings used to enhance the smile of the patient. Moreover, the resin fillings provide excellent durability and resistance to fracture from the constant stress of chewing. While resin filling can be used for either front or back teeth, dentists prefer to use it more often to restore front teeth. Resin filling is the right choice of material for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural.
Resin tooth filling typically contains a filler particle such as quartz, which provides the mixture’s strength and color. Moreover, it chemically bonds on the tooth surface. Often these fillings are quite expensive compared to the traditional silver fillings such as amalgam.
Today’s article will highlight the properties of resin tooth fillings. Furthermore, we will discuss the cost factor related to resin filling.
What is a resin tooth filling?
Dental resin-based tooth fillings are typical structures composed of three major components –
- A highly cross-linked polymeric matrix
- Reinforced by dispersion of glass, mineral, or resin filler particles
- Bound to the matrix by coupling agents which improve physical and mechanical properties
- Initiators and accelerators
- Pigments to match different tooth shades (1)
Filler particles play a crucial role in determining the surface smoothness, strength, resistance, and hardness of the resin tooth filling. Some of the joint filler particles that form the matrix are silica, quartz, and glass.
Resin fillings are often used to restore and replace lost tooth structure. Loss of tooth structure can happen due to several reasons such as –
- Tooth decay or cavity formation
- Traumatic injury
- Tooth fracture
- Cracked tooth
- Cracked old filling
Additionally, resin fillings may be used in luting and cementing crowns and veneers and other indirectly made or prefabricated dental devices.
What is the use of resin tooth filling?
Some of the primary uses of resin tooth filling include –
- Restoration of both front and back teeth
- Acts as a pit fissure sealant
- Helps in bonding ceramic or zirconia crowns and bridge
- Helps in cementing fixed prosthesis
- Helps in splinting teeth with periodontal disease
- Helps in tooth bonding
What is the application process for resin tooth filling?
Dental evaluation is the first and most essential step in determining the suitability for using resin tooth filling. Often people with the improper bite may not be the best candidates to receive resin tooth filling as they have a high tendency to experience a fracture of the filling. (2)
Similarly, people with a habit of consuming tooth staining food may not get long-lasting effects from resin tooth fillings as resin filling are prone to discoloration from external pigments. Such cases may require frequent re-restorations.
Once the dentist has evaluated the dental condition and suitability of the patient to receive resin filling, he may start the procedure –
- The tooth structure is prepared and cleaned from caries and debris
- The resin tooth filling is placed in incremental layers
- Often a particular light source is used to harden the resin layer on the tooth surface
- Once the filling has been placed, a series of finishing and polishing burs are used to smoothen the surface and blend the filling with the tooth structure.
What are the benefits of resin tooth filling?
Some of the common benefits of resin filling may include –
- Aesthetics – the resin tooth filling blends with the tooth structure and matches the tooth’s shade to provide a natural look
- Resin filling bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure. This helps to prevent fracture or breakage of the tooth. moreover, it helps to insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes. (3)
- Resin materials can be made in a wide range of consistencies, from highly fluid to rigid pastes. This allows them to be easily manipulated and molded.
- Resin fillings are the custom-made form that can be converted through a polymerization curing reaction to form a hard, strong, natural, and durable restorative material.
What are the disadvantages?
While there are many benefits of resin filling, there are also some disadvantages which may include –
- Postoperative sensitivity
- Change in the shade of the filling, especially when the patient drinks tea, coffee, or other staining foods.
- Resin fillings tend to wear out sooner than silver fillings such as amalgam, especially in larger cavities.
- Has a high risk of marginal leakage
- Slightly expensive as compared to silver fillings like an amalgam
What is the cost?
Typically, the resin tooth filling cost may vary depending on the tooth, the extent of the cavity, and the tooth’s location. However, resin fillings usually cost up to two times the price of a silver filling. On average, the filling of a resin tooth filling may range between $100 – $300 per tooth. Most dental insurance policies provide full or partial coverage for the cost of the resin filling. (4)
Take away message
Resin fillings are an excellent choice for restorative material for filling the front teeth that require high aesthetic demand. They provide a natural-looking smile that lasts for a long time. Some of the dental conditions where resin filling can be placed include tooth cavity, fracture, bonding, crown cementation, and as a sealant.
Resin fillings are available in a wide range of tooth shades. Moreover, they are strong, wear-resistant, and durable. However, the main drawback of resin tooth filling is that it is slightly expensive as compared to other filling materials.
If you want to get your tooth foiled, consult your dentist and get the best suggestions on resin filling.