Throughout the history of dental medicine dentist have searched for the perfect material to aid in the treatment of the most common problem in people’s mouths, cavities. The material would also be useful in fixing chipped and broken teeth. Dentist needed a material that was strong, relatively low costing, easy to apply, durable, and able to limit the growth of bacteria. In the early 19th century in France dentist found their wonder material and that material was amalgam. The dental amalgam is constructed of a mixture of mercury and at least one other metal such as zinc, copper, tin, or silver. The combinations of these metals are the foundation of what gives silver amalgams their strong make up and shiny metallic appearance.
The earliest use of amalgams in dentistry is still quite unknown to researchers but there are claims that it may have been dated as far back as 659 A.D. in China. Before the discovery of the amalgam dentist tried all types of material to help in the restoration of teeth. Stone chips, resin, cork, gum, turpentine, lead, and gold were some of the early materials that were boiled up and poured on teeth to create fillings. A dentist by the name of Louis Regnart had the brilliant idea t...
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