Look Ma, No Mercury in Fillings!

Kent Coulter and his colleagues at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio have developed a new proof-of-concept dental restorative material under a program funded by the National Institutes of Health that seeks to replace amalgam with other materials. The new fillings are made with a plastic-like material containing zirconia nanoplatelets. Coulter and his colleagues designed a way to make a roll of this material under vacuum. They envision that this material would be lifted from the roll and packed in a dental cavity and then cured -- using an ultraviolet lamp or some other means -- so that it hardens in place without shrinking. It seems like ziconia continues to be a very exciting, useful and beneficial material in dental practice. Comments?

Source: Science Daily

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  • Sometimes parents are not agreed to place a mercury containing filling material on their child's tooth. Amalgam filling materials don't bond to the tooth structure and looks tarnished after some days, therefore composite filling materials are popular now a days (specially nano fillers ), if zirconia nano added it may add more aesthetic and strengthener as i looking for!! But will it help prevent micro crack, curing shrinkage and marginal leakage????
  • It seems the objections to amalgam are more patient based than science based, though I doubt it would be approved if brought to the FDA as a new material today. It will be interesting to see how the zirconia nanomaterials measure up to today's composites. I still remember the great promise the first generation composites were supposed to have brought and the disappointing results until we had bonding technology.
  • I am very excited to learn more about this this zirconia nanoplatelet product. I have stopped using amalgam for many years and my patients appreciate having an opportunity to have it replaced with a better product, which will enhance their oral health. Please keep me posted regarding this exciting news! Monique Mabry DMD
  • As a Restorative Dentist ( Prosthodontist ) I still use Amalgam as a restorative material in Dentistry. We've been taught for many years about the toxicity of the mercury and the side efects causing some pathologies. It has been recently published by the ADA an article talking about the amalgam and its use in dentistry. It says, that the amalgam can be used as a restorative material in dentistry savely. In the past for many yearsand even today, researchers have concluded that the mercury in the amalgam doen't cause any problem for the human health. I still don't understand why if it has been so questioned and critized the use of amalgam alloy in human dentition and is available in the market, approved by the FDA, the ADA and also cover its use by most of the dental insurance plans hasn't been removed.
    I offer alternatives to my patients of the different kind of materials and their use in dentistry. I also explain about the advantages and disadvantages of every material that I am planning to use for their dental work, the cost and their behaivor in the mouth. I think, you should make your own judgement and do what you consider is healthyand predictable to your patients.

    Gustavo Perdomo, D.M.D.
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