Restorative dental materials
Gordon, Asia A.
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Restorative dentistry restores the function of the teeth and their surrounding structures. Patients may need dental restorative procedures due to disease, trauma, and esthetics purposes. The most prevalent dental disease is caries, which is treated by the removal of bacteria and the placement of a restorative material. This thesis aims to determine if the use of amalgam restoration should be discontinued in the United States. To determine if dental amalgam restorations should be discontinued the safety and of amalgam, composite, and ceramic materials will be evaluated. The objective is to review the current literature to determine if the use of amalgam is unethical and if composite and ceramic restorations can serve as a proper alternative. Restorative materials have been used for over 170 years and the contents in these materials have been very controversial. The first record of amalgam placement was in 659 AD in China through Material Medica. Since then, new advancements and different compositions have varied to increase the efficacy of amalgam restorations. Composite restorations became popular in the early 1960's and have drastically improved and are now comparable in compressible strength to amalgam restorations and are placed in posterior teeth. Porcelain, ceramics has been used in dentistry since the 1800's and has advanced through fabrication and cementation techniques. One fabrication technique of interest is the utilization of CEREC CAD/CAM systems. This system has also evolved and is now on its third generation; its original design included fabricated inlays and onlays only. Now, The CAD/CAM has evolved to fabricate inlays, onlays, crowns, and veneers. The use of dental amalgam has been shown through many studies to be safe and has an unmatched longevity record. Composites and porcelain ceramics are also successful to varying degree but do not have the longevity found with amalgam. These studies, demonstrates the use of amalgam in the United States is ethical, successful, cost effective, and should not be discontinued.
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