Fillings are one of the most common procedures that a dentist has to perform – and they’ve been done for thousands of years. Needless to say, dentists have improved the way we do fillings quite a bit over the centuries.
Ancient Dental Fillings
Fillings have been used for thousands of years. Recent archaeological discoveries include beeswax fillings and stone drills, dating dentistry and fillings back almost 9,000 years. Just be glad you have sedation options now!
Metal Dental Fillings
You’ve probably heard that stereotype that the English have poor dental health. However, they were also the first to develop a way to attack tooth decay. Fillings were invented in Britain in 1819 by a chemist, Dr. Bell. These mercury based amalgam fillings also contained tin, copper, and silver. They started seeing widespread use by 1926 and made their way to America in the 1930s.
Modern Day Dental Fillings
After it was discovered that mercury wasn’t so good you, amalgam fillings morphed into other materials. Silver amalgam fillings, gold, and porcelain all saw extensive use in the 1900s. The most popular filling material now is composite, which blends into teeth well for a natural look. Composite fillings also preserve more of the natural tooth and last longer than other materials.
Feeling thankful that you don’t live in the caveman days with stone drills? We certainly are! Contact us for more information about preventive dental care to keep cavities away!