Ruggless Dental

How Dental Fillings Have Changed Throughout History

October 30, 2018
Posted By: Dr. Shane Ruggless
Woman Having Teeth Exam | Ruggless Dental

Dental fillings close cavities in teeth, following the removal of decayed tooth material. The new filling, then, stops bacteria from entering the tooth, eases pain, and helps prevent further decay.

Dental fillings have been a major part of dentistry for a very long time. Let’s look at how dental fillings have evolved through history. 

Fillings In the Ancient World

In Trieste, Italy, scientists discovered a 6,000-year-old male skeleton with beeswax fillings in his teeth. This is one of the earliest known examples of dental fillings.

Texts, dating a few hundred years later, describe silver paste as a dental resin used to fill cavities.

Fillings During the Renaissance 

The first known dental book, published in 1530, offers a history of dental fillings, tooth extractions, drilling techniques, and describes gold fillings. 

In the late 1500s, Hieronymous Fabricius described filling dental cavities with gold leaf.  

Fillings In the 18th Century

Pierre Fauchard, sometimes called the father of modern dentistry, was one of the first to link excessive sugar intake to cavities. Fauchard, also credited with creating fillings to treat cavities, made several advances in the field of dentistry.

Fillings During the 1800s

The 1800s saw an upswing in dental supplies and filling resins. 

During this era, the Crawcours brothers brought amalgam filling material to America, and as early as 1840, the American Society of Dental Surgeons were decrying the use of the mercury found in these amalgams. 

Robert Arthur, another prominent innovator of this era, invented the gold foil method of filling teeth. 

Dental Fillings Today

Today, dentists rely on several materials to make dental fillings including:

  • Porcelain
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Composite materials

Our Springfield, IL office relies on composite material to build your tooth following cleaning and tooth preparation. Composite materials come in shades that closely match the hues of your other teeth. 

If you feel you have a cavity or are due for a dental exam, please contact our dental office. Remember, regular appointments with your dentist are your best defense against future cavities!

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