How Dental Filings Have Changed Over the Years
Dental restoration procedures such as fillings have been around a long time and have become a common procedure in dentistry. However, many of us take this procedure for granted and have no idea about what people had to go through in the past.
Today, your Newark dentists are looking at a few of the ways in which dental fillings have changed over the course of the years.
Silver and Mercury Fillings
In the past, standard dental fillings were made of a silver alloy and combined with up to 50% mercury. Thankfully, we’ve realized that mercury is a highly toxic substance and should never be put into our mouths. However, back then, people believed it to be safe because it was only present in a cured form, and there was a very little risk of the mercury making its way into a person’s body.
Today, the standard for dental fillings has become the use of a composite that can be adjusted to match the color of a person’s teeth.
Other Dental Filling Materials
While dentists no longer use mercury to fill cavities, there are a few other metals that can be used such as gold, which typically lasts just as long as traditional fillings would. There are also ceramic and porcelain fillings that can be used. These are great because they stay brighter and whiter for much longer than traditional composite fillings.
Another newer form of dental filling is known as a glass ionomer filling. These are still rather new to the industry and are not used very often. They are made with a combination of acrylic and a special silica formula.
Also, these fillings are designed to slowly release fluoride back into your tooth and work to protect the inside of your tooth from future decay. The bad news is that they are far less durable than other types of fillings and might need to be replaced once every 5 to 10 years.
Another option that is now widely available is known as an indirect filling. This type of treatment usually involves two consecutive visits and is often used when the damage is not extensive enough for a traditional crown.
During your first visit, the dentist will work to remove any decay, as well as previous filling material. Then, he or she will take an impression of your tooth to create a mold, that will be used to make the indirect filling. The mold will be sent to a lab to be created and then, during your second visit, your dentist will use it to fill your tooth before cementing it into place.
Another major way that dental filling procedures have changed, is that today, Newark dentists can use lasers to perform the same tasks that traditionally require drilling. Laser treatments are much less invasive than other procedures and are meant to not cause any pain to the patient whatsoever. Furthermore, the procedure can be performed much quicker, which means that your dentist will be able to take care of several cavities during the same visit.
If you have any questions about fillings or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jones, give our office a call today at 973-375-5575.