The concept of dentistry or treating teeth-related illnesses is not new. The evidence of dentistry goes as far back as 5,000 BC, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). A Sumerian text mentioned "tooth worms," describing what seems identical to the modern understanding of tooth decay.
Tooth decay is a type of bacterial infection that causes the demineralization and destruction of enamel, the hard tissues of the teeth. It occurs because the mouth has bacteria that produce acid from food debris attached to the teeth. This acid eats away at the teeth, causing holes also known as cavities.
If left alone, tooth decay can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. Often, a person may not even know there is a cavity until a toothache is present. To prevent further damage, dental fillings are used to fill cavities and resolve the pain.
Henderson Dental fillings have two general categories depending on how they are placed. Direct restorations involve fillings that are placed directly into a cavity and can usually be done in one day. These types of restorations include amalgam, composite (resin), glass ionomers, and resin ionomers.
Indirect restorations involve the dentist making an impression out of the tooth that needs treatment. Materials for indirect restorations include inlays and onlays, veneers, crowns, and bridges fabricated with gold, ceramics, or composites. These types of restorations usually take two or more visits.
In the 600s, a medical text in China made a reference to using the "silver paste," a type of amalgam. Up until recently, amalgam was the definitive choice for dental fillings used to fill cavities. Amalgam became controversial to use in the late twentieth century due to the toxicity of mercury. Mercury is the most prominent component in amalgam Henderson dental fillings. The American Dental Association (ADA) has deemed the use of amalgam to treat a cavity as safe and effective.
Composite is a popular choice for fillings. It is made out of acrylic resin and powdered glass-like particles. This material is similar to the natural color of the tooth and used for fillings, inlays, veneers, and also to replace a portion of a chipped or broken tooth. Fillings made out of composite do not last as long as metal fillings, but look much more aesthetically pleasing. They are also more expensive than amalgam.
Dentistry has evolved a lot since the old days, with fillings that match the natural tooth color and shortened procedure times. But it is ideal to prevent the need for a dental filling in the first place. To prevent a dental filling, regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and routine dentist visits are important. The ADA recommends that people visit their dentist at least twice a year for optimal oral health.
Minimizing food with high levels of sugar helps keep bacteria from eroding the tooth. Eating a balanced diet is also helpful. If needed, a dentist can recommend supplemental fluoride to strengthen the enamel.