Comparison of teeth with silver amalgam fillings next to teeth with tooth-colored composite resin fillings

How Dental Fillings Have Changed Over the Years

July 21, 2023 5:08 pm

Enamel is the crystalline mineral structure on the outside of teeth. When areas of this tooth layer become eroded, holes called cavities develop. These holes make a tooth more vulnerable to sensitivity and infection. The progression of dental technology over the years now allows for more efficient and more comfortable restorative treatments to address cavities, while delivering better, longer-lasting results.

Ancient Beginnings of Dental Fillings

Dental fillings date back thousands of years. Around 7000 BC, civilizations used various materials such as beeswax, resin, and gold in an attempt to fill cavities. The quest for a more durable dental filling material led to experimentation with silver, lead, and even wood and cork.

Modern Dental Fillings

The introduction of dental amalgam in the 19th century marked a significant milestone in restorative dentistry. Amalgam fillings were composed of a mixture of metals, including silver, tin, copper, and mercury. While they were durable and cost-effective, they could also be very noticeable when a person smiled or opened their mouth.

Beginning in the 20th century, concerns about the content of mercury (a toxin in certain forms) in amalgam fillings made composite resin fillings a preferred alternative to repair a decayed tooth. These tooth-colored fillings offer a more aesthetically pleasing option since they are matched to the natural color of a patient’s teeth, instead of standing out like a conspicuous silver amalgam filling. Composite resin also provides better bonding to a tooth’s structure so it is strong and reliable.

Tooth-Colored Fillings in Katy, TX

At Elyson Family Dental, we provide comprehensive dental services, including durable, natural-looking tooth-colored fillings to restore teeth compromised by cavities. Our team would be happy to help if you have a cavity or would like to replace old amalgam fillings due to cosmetic or health concerns. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment!


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