Were you one of those kids that dreaded going to the dentist? You did not want to find out that you had cavities and needed your teeth filled. Was it one of your greatest fears? Well, you were not alone. Over 90 percent of the population has cavities and 78 percent of the population experienced their first cavity before the age of 17. Not only did we not want to have our tooth drilled, or be trapped in the dentist chair for a long period of time, we didn’t want people to see our silver fillings when we opened our mouth. If you or your child needs a filling your Livonia, MI dentist, Dr. James Stewart, will be happy to discuss the pros and cons of tooth-colored filling materials.
Fillings During The Civil War
Can you imagine getting a tooth filled during the Civil War era? The tools field doctors had at their disposal included one turnkey, one gum lancet, two pairs of straight forceps, one pair of lower molar forceps, and the occasional stump screw. Doesn’t sound pleasant does it? Tin was the material of choice for dental fillings during the Civil War. We’ve come a long way since then.
History Of Fillings
Beginning in the early 19th century, metal materials were used for fillings. Silver, gold, and platinum were all used as filling materials. With time, gold and silver became the most popular. Gold was strong and durable, but not the most aesthetic choice, plus it was more expensive than silver. Silver, on the other hand, had the same advantages as gold but was less expensive. But even as far back as the Civil War, there were questions regarding the mercury content in silver fillings. Silver amalgam fillings are a mixture of silver, copper, tin, zinc, and mercury. There has been concern regarding mercury causing health issues. Since then other filling materials were developed including composite resin.
Made of plastic, or acrylic resin material, and reinforced with powdered glass, composite resin fillings are often referred to as “Tooth-colored” fillings. They began as the filling material of choice for anterior dentition because they looked “white” and blended nicely with surrounding teeth. When composite material was first developed it was not strong enough to sustain the force of back teeth. Continual improvements were made over the years and today composite resin fillings are strong and durable enough for use in front and back teeth. Dr. Stewart prefers bonded composite resin fillings because they are aesthetic, but also because they seal better, insulate against hot and cold better than metal fillings, and can be repaired if needed.
About Dr. Stewart
James R. Stewart, Jr, DDS, PC and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.