This is Doctor Paul, and thanks for watching this video from Waterfront Dentistry by Paul's.
Today I would like to talk to you about the different type of filling materials out there in my profession.
The Oral Cavity
Now, before I start, I want to tell you something about the mouth (or the oral cavity). The mouth has a lot of vectors in it. Now think about it, there's a lot of forces, which is clenching, grinding, chewing. There is a lot of bacteria in your mouth, your mouth is always wet from constant flow of saliva and also a lot of fluctuations in temperatures from ingesting hot and cold substances throughout the day. Now, from an engineering point of view, the mouth is one of the most trying areas for any materials to withstand the stress of time.
So now that you know the basics, lets talk about our first material, which is metal or silver amalgam. Amalgam stands for amalgamation of copper, silver, tin, and mercury. Back in the day, this was the only thing we had, because when you actually went into a dental office and you had a cavity which was rather big, the only thing the dentist would do is pull the tooth out. They invented silver fillings which will save a lot of these teeth, and it did just that. The only problem with metal is as you keep ingesting hot and cold substances, metal expands and contracts differently from a tooth, and that is why over the course of time any metal filling will definitely fail. You start out by getting crack lines, you start out by getting leakages, but eventually a silver filling not restored in time, you end up getting a need for a root canal. It's just physics.
The second [type of] filling is composite restoration. Now white filling is one of those things that actually work by bonding a tooth back into place. In a sense, its other word should be super-glue. Now, when you think about it, when you use a white filling and you have a tooth that's missing a lot of tooth structure, the white filling will glue everything back in place and actually make it as strong as it was before. But over the course of time, even super-glue will fail and even white fillings have a certain amount of life expectancy, which is usually from eight to ten years, depending on how well the filling was done while being placed.
Now that you know the different fillings out there, you will also appreciate that fillings, white or silver, both have a certain amount of lifespan on them. But if you think about it, if you crown these teeth, if they have bigger fillings, you are actually buying your teeth an eternity provided you brush and floss.
Now, in the next video I will talk to you about what a crown is and what it does for you over the course of time.
Thanks for watching.