When I first started out as a dentist, most of the cavities in teeth were filled with amalgam. It was silver in color and it often darkened over time. The material was suited for the oral environment but it did begin to break down at the “margins”, areas where the tooth and amalgam touched. This breakdown allowed saliva to leak into the tooth, causing “recurrent decay”, most often detected on x-rays. The solution for recurrent decay was to remove the filling, remove the current decay, and make the new filling larger. If the filling got too large, a full-gold crown was required. This material held up well inside the mouth.
Much research has gone into new dental materials, looking for stronger and more esthetic materials. Today, many filling materials are tooth colored and some have fluoride to offset the development of recurrent decay. Metal crowns are now designed with a tooth-colored coating, so they are still strong but also look natural. And some white crowns, that withstand biting pressures, are now fashioned in one visit to my office.
I have been privileged, in my career, to see the emergence of dental implants and was one of the early adopters of them. A wisely-placed implant maintains the integrity of the jaw and eliminates the need for a partial denture or bridge across the gap. And the best is yet to come. My dental journals highlight the new materials that are currently being tested, or headed to market. It feels like Christmas when I comb the pages.
I’m so happy that I chose to help people by becoming a Prosthodontist!
Contact Winterset Dental today to find out which treatment is right for you.