At South Charlotte Dentistry we like to stay up-to-the-minute on all of the latest and greatest dental trends. Recently, there has been some talk about the future of dental filling. These composite restorations could be moving to include a new type of material. Our current dental fillings work well but there is always room to improve. Eventually, we could even have special fillings made of glass!
That’s right, glass dental fillings. Sounds crazy, we know but new research shows that glass could be the solution to an even better and more effective dental filling. When it comes to glass dental fillings, we aren’t talking about just any old glass, this special glass is “bioactive” and has the ability to prevent further tooth decay. This could be a total game changer. Dental fillings doubling as a tooth decay prevention.
Most fillings today are created with composite or metal. These are both excellent choices but even these also come with a few drawbacks. Composites are great because they are natural-looking and are made to resemble a person’s natural tooth color. With composite fillings, people will not even notice you have a filling. This great for people who want to be confident in their smile. The downside to composite fillings is that they are not as strong as a person’s natural tooth and the material becomes weaker overtime. A composite filling has a lifespan of about five to seven years.
Metal fillings are another great option for a dental filling. Metal usually has a long lifespan making them the desired choice for tooth that can’t be seen. The lifespan for this filling ranges from ten to fifteen years. The downfall to metal fillings is that overtime it might begin to corrode.
Everyone’s teeth are different and every dental filling is diverse. Things like dental hygiene and diet will always play a role in the lifespan of dental fillings.
The number one reason that fillings need to be replaced is time. The dental material wears down and replacements are needed. In addition, many people experience secondary tooth decay where the tooth continues to decay where the tooth meets the filling. Other things like, teeth grinding and tooth injuries can cause the tooth filling to need replacing.
Believe it or not, glass fillings could be the next trend of the dental world to help fixes these issues. The special bioactive glass has a huge advantage by increasing the lifespan of fillings and even preventing further decay. Research has proven that the unique glass helps slow secondary tooth decay by decreasing bacteria. This special glass is made with silicon oxide, calcium oxide, and phosphorus oxide giving the look of powdered glass. Once the filling is in place, the body will react unlike current fillings. This will help prolong the lifespan of the filling. Researchers have even discovered that cavity-causing bacteria avoids the bioglass. This special bioglass has been used for healing bones for years and could be making its way into the world of dental fillings. Hang tight and you could see this in South Charlotte Dentistry.
Researchers at Oregon State University are leading the discoveries on the bioglass phenomenon. There is no question about what people want most when it comes to dental fillings, something that is long lasting. These engineers were determined to find just that, which led to the bioglass. Their research has been published in Dental Materials, a dental journal published by the National Institute of Health. Composites that contain up to 15 percent of the bioglass are currently being researched and the hope is to eventually incorporate more bioglass into dental filling material.
Bioglass isn’t the only new dental filling being researched. Other studies have found that graphene oxide may also be effective as a dental filling material. This material has the outstanding benefit of not corroding. It is stronger than steel and is very durable. The author of the study, Dr. Stela Pruneanu, has stated that graphene is 200 times stronger than steel. Wow! That would definitely reduce the need to get a filling replaced. Dr. Pruneanu goes on to explain the goal of the study, which is to incorporate graphene into dental materials. They want to do this to reduce corrosion and improve the properties of current dental materials. The study has already seen good results and they are moving onto a different stage in the study. These scientists will begin studying how compatible graphene oxide fillings are with teeth and how the new material will interact with human cells. The material is still being tested in dental materials but incorporating this material could be a huge step forward in filling materials.
These new dental fillings, have not been approved for usage yet, but this could be a noteworthy invention for the future of dentistry. For the time being, the best way to get the most out of your dental fillings is to practice diligent dental hygiene. All fillings need to be replaced eventually but here are a few tips on how to take care of your fillings:
- Gentle Chewing: Chewing food puts a lot of pressure on your teeth, practicing a soft chewing technique will help relieve the pressure.
- Chew with Your Mouth Closed: Sometimes, even after a filling, tooth sensitivity will continue. Even cold air can trigger this. Chewing with your mouth closed can reduce the chance of cold air hitting your teeth.
- Avoid Sticky Foods: Taking part in sticky foods can sometimes dislodge a new filling.
- Avoid Extreme Temperatures: Drinks that are very hot or very cold are more likely to trigger sensitive teeth.
- Be Aware Of Sweets: Sugar causes sensitivity and leads to bacteria which could grow in your new filling.
- Stay Away From Hard Foods: Biting into hard foods like candy or nuts, can dislodge fillings that are still setting
Is it time to get your filling replaced? Or do you think you might need a dental filling? Give South Charlotte Dentistry a call to schedule your appointment to learn about dental fillings, dental crowns, and same-day crowns.