Dental News

Fillings: Past, Present & Future Technologies

December 15, 2013

Technology for fillings provided by dentists in North Hollywood CA is poised to take a great leap forward

Fillings: Past, Present & Future TechnologiesConsidering that dental caries, or tooth decay, is one of the most common dental problems around the world, it’s no surprise that fillings, the treatment for tooth decay, have been subject to great advancements throughout the history of dentistry. Here are some highlights from the history of fillings.

First Dental Filling Discovered in Slovenia

Last year, researchers announced the discovery of what is now considered the most ancient evidence of dentistry in Europe, based on their analysis of a 6,500-year-old human jawbone featuring a tooth with traces of beeswax. While the researchers were not able to confirm for certain whether the wax was applied before or after the individual died, they believe that the wax was applied in an effort to reduce pain and sensitivity that were no doubt being caused by the vertical crack present in the enamel and dentin of the tooth.

White Composite Fillings Replace Metal Fillings

Today, dentists in North Hollywood CA are able to offer treatments much more advanced than that ancient beeswax filling: metal fillings or white composite fillings. Metal fillings have fallen out of favor with most dentists, because they can cause allergic sensitivities and because their color makes them conspicuous. While composite fillings are now considered the best type of fillings for use in the treatment of dental caries, because they can be colored to match the surrounding natural tooth enamel exactly and do not interfere with the aesthetics of a patient’s smile. However, our current white composite fillings seem poised to be replaced by an even better technology in the not-so-distant future.

Long-Lasting, Antibacterial Nanocomposite Fillings Invented

Scientists at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry have used nanotechnology to create the first white composite filling that can do more than just plug the holes created by tooth decay. This new type of nanocomposite filling can actually kill harmful bacteria and help regenerate tooth structure. Both the primer used to prepare drilled-out cavities and the composite material used to seal them up will contain antibacterial agents designed to destroy the bacteria that can cause secondary caries, aka decay at the edges of a filling. Plus, they will contain calcium phosphate nanoparticles designed to regenerate tooth minerals. These components will help the new nanocomposite fillings last much longer than the 5 to 10 years that is currently standard for white composite fillings.

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