State-of-the-art dental composite fillings are highly durable and, with proper care, can last between seven and ten years. Considering the wear and tear on your teeth, that’s a pretty good run for a filling, right? But what if we told you that researchers are looking into ways to make them last even longer?
Dental Fillings 101
The process for creating a filling starts with the removal of the decayed portion of the tooth. Decay occurs when acid in your mouth eats away at the outer layer of enamel and penetrates the layer beneath, which is called dentin.
The longevity of a filling depends mainly on the bond created between the filling material and dentin. Dentin is a soft material, so it’s not an optimal base for a filling, and the reason most fillings crack or fall out is a weak bond.
Strengthening the Bond
However, a recent study indicates that extracts from pine tree bark may be the answer to extending the lifespan of dental fillings!
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that compounds in the pine tree extract alter the chemical structure of a tooth, strengthening dentin and allowing fillings to bind more securely. While much research needs to be done, it is estimated that pine tree extract may extend the lifespan of a dental filling by as much as a decade!
Dentists are always looking for new ways to improve the quality and durability of your dental work. Finding a new method for strengthening fillings would be a significant advance when you consider that nearly 90% of all adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have had cavities.
Please Call to Learn More
It’s hard to say if and when pine bark extract will be put to practical use. But you can be confident that dental fillings placed at our Birmingham, AL office are created with the most advanced materials available to bring you the best possible outcomes. Please call us if you would like to learn more!