Solutions sometimes appear in the most unexpected places. A recent study reveals that pine tree root extract has some significant benefits when it comes to dental fillings and their longevity. When we provide patients with fillings in our Houston, TX dental office, we opt for tooth-colored fillings that look and feel natural as well.
Here is the story:
A study published in the Journal of Organic Chemistry revealed that the root from the Chinese red pine called, Pinus massoniana, strengthens the dentin inside the tooth, just beneath the enamel. Dentin is far softer than the protective enamel covering the teeth, and when fillings are applied to this unstable portion of the tooth, forces caused by chewing can alter the shape and destabilize the filling.
In most cases, one can plan on a filling that lasts for between five and seven years, whether it is amalgam or composite. At that time, most fillings begin to break down with small fissures and cracks that allow bacteria to enter the tooth, causing secondary decay.
The study revealed that teeth treated with pine bark extract resulted in harder dentin and an improved bond between the tooth and composite resin, which makes up white fillings. The dentists leading the study said they hoped to develop an extract that would be convenient for dentists to use in their daily treatments with patients.
Success would mean that composite tooth-colored fillings will last even longer.
Until this new science finds its way into the fillings we provide in our Houston, TX dental office, there are a few things you can do to keep your fillings looking and functioning for as long as possible.
- Be sure to brush and floss your teeth as recommended
- Stay on time with your routine dental appointments
- Avoid biting into excessively hard foods and ice
- Exercise similar caution to your natural teeth