A new extract in pine bark has been discovered that might strengthen composite resin fillings to make them last even longer. A study has shown that the extract alters the chemical structure of teeth and makes the fillings bind better.
In the future, if you find yourself needing a filling from your Allentown dentist, you might be able to get a filling that lasts longer than ever! Let’s take a look at more details from the study and how this might impact the future of fillings.
A Look at Fillings of the Past
Before composite fillings were available, amalgam fillings were used when teeth were decayed. Although these metal-based fillings were effective, they weren’t particularly attractive. Their dark gray color is obvious against a white tooth. They also ultimately could lead to fractures in the tooth, meaning that they often needed to be replaced.
Replacing them with resin, tooth-colored fillings meant a more esthetic appearance. But the truth is that composite fillings also deteriorate, meaning they would likely need to be replaced as well.
A Look at Fillings of the Future
It has been estimated that as many as 80 percent of people in this country have composite fillings. So it’s exciting news for the vast majority of us that pine tree bark extract seems to be able to alter the chemical structure of our teeth.
According to the study, the compounds in the extract strengthen the tissue layer that lies below the tooth enamel. Called dentin, its structure was observed to change after exposure to the pine tree bark extract. Resin fillings are able to bond to teeth much better as a result. Early findings suggest that this could add an additional 10 years to the longevity of resin fillings.
Scientists are working on the practical applications of using this finding in the dentist's office but this advance is not quite ready for use yet.
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