Humans Have Been Utilizing Dental Fillings for Over 13,000 Years

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Decayed or decaying teeth can lead to severe pain, making it difficult to chew. If left untreated, the decay is likely to worsen which can cause even more pain and increases potential for infection. This could result in a root canal or even extraction.

It’s not surprising that there has been evidence dating back thousands of years of humans using organic residue to fill cracked, broken or worn-down teeth. According to an archaeological team in Italy, in 2017 they discovered evidence of decayed teeth that were manipulated, using an organic residue filling dating back between 12,600 and 13,040 years ago.

The theory is that humans were shifting away from being hunter/gatherers as understanding for agriculture became more available. This shift resulted in a shift in diet as well, with an increase in carbohydrates that is theorized to have led to more teeth and mouth problems.

We’ve been doing Composite Fillings for over 30 years, and our practices have definitely come a long way compared to our early human ancestors. Fillings 13,000 years ago were found to resemble a “tar-like hydrocarbon mixture” that was accompanied by plant fragments and even hair! Luckily, we’ve moved away from hair-based fillings, and our dental fillings are made of tooth colored, composite resin that protect the tooth from infection and further decay.

Here’s a video from the American Dental Association that explains composite fillings:

Our process for placing a composite dental filling is as follows:

  • The tooth is isolated from saliva to keep it dry.
  • The infected part of the tooth is removed.
  • The composite resin is placed in layers over the opening.
  • A special light is used to harden each layer of composite resin material.
  • After the tooth is filled, the composite resin is shaped to resemble a real tooth.

If you think you need a dental filling, or want to know your treatment options for a decaying, cracked, broken or worn down tooth, contact us today to make an appointment.