Many people try to avoid visiting the dentist by using one of the over the counter dental filling products that are available at the local drugstore. These materials are designed as an interim measure to relieve the pain and protect the tooth when you have a dental emergency. They are a great temporary solution, but they are not permanent.

In some cases, dentists also place temporary fillings, these fillings are stronger, but they are a short-term restoration. They may use a temporary filling during an emergency and schedule an appointment for a permanent filling when there is time. They are also used to protect a tooth while waiting for a crown, inlay, or onlay to be made.

Whether your filling is the over the counter type, or placed by the dentist, it is important that they be replaced with a durable permanent filling in a timely manner. Generally, temporary filling material is soft and will wear down, fracture, or fall out before long. It is crucial to replace the homemade fillings as soon as possible. The decay and bacteria is still present, and will continue to erode the tooth.

Dr. Mike Milligan at Eastland Dental Center recommends white filling material because it strengthens the tooth and is aesthetically appealing. Traditional amalgam fillings are wedged into the prepared tooth, which weakens the tooth and can cause it to break. Over time they wear down, creating gaps between the teeth and filling material, which gives bacteria access to begin the decay process. White fillings are bonded to the teeth, increasing structural strength, and sealing out the bacteria.

Dental fillings are one of the oldest forms of restoration in dentistry and remain one of the most important. Fillings are the option that keeps small problems from turning into big ones, and thanks to research and development, they are more beautiful and effective than ever before. The materials and techniques of dental fillings have continued to evolve and improve throughout history.

In the earliest times, cavities were filled with a variety of materials such as Chinese herbs, gum, turpentine resin, and stone chips. In the late 1400’s, gold foil fillings were first recommended, but in the 1500’s cork or lead was used to fill teeth. In the 1700’s tin foil was frequently used. By the early 19th century, gold leaf enjoyed growing popularity in the United States. The first dental amalgam was developed in 1826, and the first porcelain filling came into use in 1897. Today we are fortunate to have the option of beautiful white filling materials thanks to the never-ending quest to provide better dentistry for all patients.

If you have an unfilled cavity, or one that has a temporary filling, call Eastland Dental Center today at (309) 663-4711. Dr. Mike Milligan and his awesome dental team provide the best treatments and materials dentistry has to offer for all of their patients.

Back to Dental Fillings Page