Cosmetic Dentist in Chicago IL Explores the Last Thirty Years of Cosmetic Dentistry


Like most medicine today, cosmetic dentistry has made great strides over the years. From metal amalgams to tooth-colored composite fillings and dentures to dental implants, cosmetic dentistry has come a long way.


While there is always room for improvement, cosmetic dentistry offers the best possible treatment plans for patients today. Perhaps one of the most effective and valued improvements in cosmetic dentistry is the dental implant, which is a screw-like post that is driven through the gums and into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth root. Implants look and function very similar to a natural tooth. They provide the cosmetic benefits of bridges and dentures with an added functional support to the jawbone, which can’t be offered by bridges or dentures. Prior to the advent of dental implants, a patient's only option to replace missing teeth were various forms of dentures. While even dentures have seen many advancements, they were not always as comfortable and aesthetically pleasing as they are today. Tooth replacement is definitely more efficient today compared to even 30 years ago. After all, the dental implant was only invented in 1989 by a Swedish physician and research professor by the name of Per-Ingvar Brånemark.


Another important advancement in cosmetic dentistry is the invention of tooth-colored composites. A composite is the material used when filling cavities. Traditionally, composites were made from a combination of metals including tin, copper, silver and mercury. While metal fillings are certainly useful for filling cavities in rear teeth because of their durability, the tooth-colored composite material has become frequently requested for highly visible front teeth. According to Geir Bjørklund, a Norwegian historian, records of metal fillings go back as far as the year 659. A Chinese medical text called Hsin Hsiu Pen Tsao details the practice of using silver and tin mixes to fill cavities.


Tooth-colored composites are made from a mix of plastic and glass for a more natural tooth-like appearance. While these types of fillings are not as durable as traditional metal fillings, they do provide great aesthetic advancements.


It’s an exciting time for cosmetic dentistry as technology and new research allows for advancements and better treatment options for patients. If you have any questions about the procedures mentioned above or if you happen to have questions about a new advancement in cosmetic dentistry please feel free to call us at (773) 643-6006.


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