Dental Tips Blog


Why do Fillings Wear Over Time?

Posted in Fillings

Dental fillings can treat diseased areas where tooth decay has been removed. Although fillings are not as strong as tooth enamel, they are very efficient at maintaining the health of the teeth and extending the tooth’s life by restoring the weak area. Otherwise, decay would expand and the tooth would become brittle and fracture.

Unfortunately, dental fillings are not a permanent restoration that is meant to last your entire life. It is very common for fillings to last several years or even as long as two decades, but they simply cannot last much longer than that. Over time the filling simply does not fuse or bond as well with the tooth enamel, allowing some wear or leakage around the margin of the filling. Sometimes the leaking areas can become sensitive and alert the patient to the problem. Other times it may not be noticeable at all. Routine preventive care visits with your dentist help monitor these sites and allow for intervention during the earliest signs that a filling is giving out.

As filling margins pull away from the teeth, the can be an area of leakage which allows bacteria or other debris to enter the area under the filling. Because these areas cannot be cleaned, recurrent cavities may form around the filling if they are not replaced in a timely manner. If delayed too long, the remaining tooth enamel may give way and fracture off during a meal when you are biting down on something. If too much tooth breaks away, the tooth will need to have a crown placed on it in order to keep the tooth healthy and functioning.

Your dentist wants to ensure that all of your fillings last as long as possible. Routine exams and x-rays help diagnose problems as earliest as possible, keeping treatment simple and more affordable.

Posted on the behalf of Crabapple Dental



World’s Oldest Dental Filling

Posted in Fillings

Modern day dentists use drills and gold, amalgam, composite and porcelain for dental fillings, crowns, and other methods of restoring teeth that are damaged or decayed. But did you ever wonder what they used way back in the Stone Age?

Scientists think they might know.

In recently published papers, researchers at Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy concluded that a human jaw found more than 100 years ago in Slovenia has evidence of the earliest known dental filling. Careful analysis using modern scientific equipment shows the substance is beeswax.

The jaw, which had been sitting in a museum in Italy for years and was newly analyzed, dates to the Neolithic period about 6,500 years ago.  It is believed to be that of a man in his late 20s to early 30s.  The filled tooth was a left canine and had a deep vertical crack in the enamel down into the dentin, the softer layer of the tooth.

Researchers could not conclude whether the tooth was filled before or after death.  If it was filled prior to death, they say, it was probably done to relieve pain from a deep crack likely caused by a non-food related activity like weaving.  But if the filling was done after death, it was likely done as part of some sort of death ritual and the tooth likely cracked as it dried out post mortem.

The discovery is thought to be the earliest evidence to date of dental fillings for palliative care. Scientists had previously found evidence of the practice of dentistry from a 9,000-year-old grave site in Pakistan, but had never found actual evidence of a tooth filling.

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