Many patients might believe that dentistry is a relatively new science. If you look back throughout history, however, you will see that dental problems plagued humans for thousands of years. While the methods of caring for teeth have improved, many of the old concepts were on the right track.
A recent discovery uncovered evidence of 13,000-year-old fillings in Italy. The dentist cleaned out the decay from two incisors and packed the cavities with hair and plant matter before filling each of the cavities with bitumen, a type of asphalt used in ancient times. By filling the cavities, the dentist achieved the goal of keeping food and bacteria out of the pulp chamber and reducing sensitivity.
Dental Fillings Today
Today, we use a tooth-colored material, called composite, to fill cavities, but the concept is the same. Dr. Terry O’Neill removes all signs of decay and cleans bacteria from the cavity before prepping the area to bond to composite, a blend of plastic and microscopic glass particles. Composite is available in many different shades to match the natural color of your tooth, a major improvement over asphalt or even the metal fillings of the past.
Composite hardens with a curing light after Dr. O’Neill places each layer until your cavity is completely filled. Polishing the surface creates a seamless fit and appearance.
Most fillings last for many years – as long as you care for them properly. Avoiding additional decay and wearing a nightguard if you clench and grind your teeth can contribute to the longevity of fillings, bonding, dental crowns, and your natural teeth.
Dr. O’Neill uses an innovative numbing technique that the Italians from 13,000 years ago did not have access to, another reason to be grateful for modern dentistry! He will ensure comfortable treatment for every procedure, taking the stress and worry out of your dental care.
Dental Fillings in St. Paul MN
We welcome you to call and schedule a dental appointment for quality family dentistry in St. Paul. Our entire team looks forward to welcoming you!