One of the most common treatments dentists perform is repairing decayed teeth and filling the cavities. There are several filling options in this dental procedure, each with its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the case.
Several dental materials are available for tooth fillings, such as amalgam, composite and ceramic or ‘white fillings’. Unidental, a private dental clinic in Greater Manchester, agrees that prevention is always better than cure, and if a decay is need of a filling, white fillings is recommended for both aesthetics and function.
Bright Future for Tooth Fillings
Constant pressure from chewing, grinding or clenching can cause dental fillings to wear away, chip or crack. If the filling breaks down, food particles and bacteria can work their way under the filling. The additional risk of developing tooth decay can arise if left untreated.
The average tooth filling only lasts for six years, but according to research, adding bioactive glass to tooth fillings can make these last longer.
Bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities seem to steer away from this type of glass. Research shows a promising future wherein this can be incorporated in tooth fillings. Experts say this could have a significant impact on dentistry, as it is able to interact with the body and are less likely to cause bacteria to colonise on the fillings.
Efficacy of Bioactive Glass
Bioactive glass is composed of silicon oxide, calcium oxide and other compounds. It looks like a powdered glass while being very hard and stiff. The body notices it; thus, reacting to the glass. Researchers believe it can replace some of the inert glass fillers mixed with polymers in today’s tooth fillings.
A tooth restoration was simulated with extracted molars to test the efficacy of the bioactive glass. In this simulation, they determined that the glass may prolong the life of fillings. Scientists found that there was a smaller depth of bacterial penetration in the bioactive glass fillings versus the ones that didn’t have the glass.
More clinical research is needed to confirm the results, but if proven, it should be very easy to incorporate bioactive glass into existing formulations for tooth fillings. The research can open innovation that can make tooth decay a thing of the past.