That is such a great question. Before I can answer that, let’s talk about how insurance, specifically dental insurance works. Your insurance that you receive from your employer, union, etc., is a contract between your employer and the insurance company. If doesn’t make a difference whether you pay for all of the premium yourself, split it with your boss or it’s a freebie to you. It is still a negotiated contract. The rules and limitations of the contract are all spelled out before anyone signs anything or pays any premium. The problem usually is that unless you are a dentist, you may not understand the ramifications of all of the exclusions and rules. Almost every insurance plan that I see pays less or doesn’t pay at all for a white filling on a back tooth. I haven’t done silver fillings in over 12 years. So white fillings are not experimental or are they cosmetic per se. They are the way that dentistry has moved to fill back teeth.
However, silver filling still do exist. They are faster to do, they are less money than white fillings and easier for the dentist to perform. As such the fees for silver fillings are less. Since silver fillings are a legitimate way to fill a tooth, your insurance always reimburses your expenditure in the most favorable way to them. Translate this into English, that means giving your dentist the least amount of money for his work. The insurance company has fulfilled it’s part of their contract by providing you with a filling. If you want current and a state of the art procedure, you need to pay for this yourself.
White fillings are bonded into place and may cause teeth to fracture less over time. Silver as a metal will expand and contract differently and lead to fractures of teeth requiring removing of the tooth or crowning the tooth. Because the white filling is bonded into place, the hole that is made to hold the filling can be smaller than used for a silver filling. Translate this into more conservative dentistry.
Because of bonding reasons, many teeth can be held together better with a white filling than a silver filling. This is important when old silver fillings are replaced and the patient is complaining about developing sensitivity on the tooth.
These are some of the reasons that I choose to you use white fillings as my go to procedure when we find decay in the mouth. If you have any questions about this or any other procedure. Please feel free to call me at 440.951.7856 I am always happy to talk to you.
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