What are you Filling your Teeth With?

how to treat cavities with fillingsIf you have a filling in your mouth, you are not alone. In fact, approximately 90% of Americans over 18 have had at least one cavity filled in their lives. Amalgam fillings were the material of choice for about 150 years, so depending on your age, you might have such a filling in your mouth as we speak. Amalgams of various metals including silver seemed a great alternative to the gold that most people couldn’t afford. This allowed for decayed teeth to be restored inexpensively, while still providing the strength of strong metal. Unfortunately, concerns over the mercury in dental amalgam is too much of a risk for many people to feel comfortable with. Beyond that, from a practical standpoint, the expansion and contraction of metal when exposed to extreme temperatures can lead to cracking and breaking of teeth over time. And then, of course, there are cosmetic concerns at hand.

Dental Filling History

In the 1800’s, two industrious brothers of British decent traveled to upstate New York to make their fortune. These men came to the states to introduce dentists to a remarkable new dental filling material. The Crawcours’ were armed with a mixture of various metals (including mercury) which provided a low-cost alternative for dentists to offer their many patients who were dealing with extractions because they couldn’t afford gold restorations. Even back then, however, mercury concerns abounded. Over time, white or tooth-colored fillings made from composite-resin gained popularity because of aesthetic and health benefits.

Filling Our Hopes

A research study at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry recently uncovered the next potential evolution/revolution in restorative dentistry. Nanotechnology was used to come up with a material for dental fillings that can have a dual purpose of restoring decayed teeth and killing future germs. These amazing fillings would also have the ability to remineralize damaged teeth with calcium phosphate nanoparticles. Rebuilt teeth untouchable by bacteria which are stronger and healthier than ever? The Crawcours would most likely be very proud.


Dr. Brent Engelberg and his highly-skilled team proudly serve patients and their families from Arlington Heights, IL, and all surrounding communities, including; Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire, Libertyville, Skokie, Evanston, Palatine, Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows, and the Northern and Northwest Chicago Suburbs. To learn more, schedule a consultation online, or call our office today at 847-259-8030.

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