The Strength of Resin

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Posted on By Gerald Benjamin In Composite Resin

A large percent of young dentists believe that resin is a vastly inferior material to some ceramics. An Empress onlay was placed ~2006 as a large DOL (B) restoration. It fractured in 2011 and I placed a direct restoration in tooth #1 but in #2 position. This distal surface of the upper last molar takes the highest forces of any tooth in the mouth. The compressive, flexural and tensile strength of Filtek Supreme Ultra is 3-4 times that of Empress.

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Impressive comparison of restorative you prefer direct resins in these indications over indirect materials? Thanks Maurice


Hi Maurice;
I virtually never place an indirect restoration on a vital tooth in the mouth of a 20,30 or 40 year old patient. That amounts to pre implant treatment planning. The vast majority of dentists use pre 1992 standards for an indirect restoration i.e. if a restoration or lesion is half the width buccal-lingually, the tooth is deem weak and requires a crown or onlay. Dentinal bonding completely changed that standard but few care. For the last 25 years, I place very few indirect restorations unless I am doing comprehensive dentistry which usually on an older patient.

Direct resin placed under a rubber dam is my go to restoration and usually lasts 20+ years. It is interesting to note that the average posterior resin lasts 7 years and 42% have recurrent caries both as reported by Dr. Gordon Christensen.


Completely agree. Nice conservative results.
What do you think about indirect resin inlay?

My protocol for direct is selective etch+CLEARFIL SEBOND+resin.

For indirect; Immediate Dentin Sealing (Optibond FL Kerr). Bonded Resin Inlay with Sandblast+Etch+Adhesive (Optibond fl) + Thermo modified Filtek Z100.


Hi Damir;
I placed thousands of indirect processed resin onlays in the mid 1990s to 2000. Concept remains my all time favorite with some doing well after 25 years.