Dental and Chemical Applications of Various Fillings
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Imagine a usual trip to the dentist's office. You are always reminded to brush better and to actually floss but if you are a part of around 90% of adults over the age of 20 or about 57% of adolescents under the age of 19, chances are you have had a cavity in your lifetime (Kaczor, 3). Typically these are caused by lack of proper brushing or hygiene and can lead to discomfort in the mouth or small holes within a tooth. If not treated properly cavities, or dental caries as they are often called, can lead to significant loss of teeth, gingivitis or one of the many other periodontal diseases that often plague the human mouth. Typical treatment of a cavity is relatively simple, the infected portion is carved out of the tooth and removed then the remaining hole is sealed off via a filling in order to prevent further damage and to maintain a healthier tooth. However, the fillings themselves are rather complex and consist of multiple carefully picked reagents in order to properly seal off the tooth. In this paper, I will first give an overview of the mouth structure, the cause of cavities, and then discuss the different components that go into the creation of a filling. Before we can understand how dental caries form it is imperative that the structure and composition of the different tooth layers are first understood. To begin, the average tooth is divided up into seven distinct layers: enamel, dentin, pulp, gum, root canal, bone, and cementum.