Introduction and Background
Everyday thousands of people undergo some sort of medical or dental procedure during which they have some sort of material implanted into their bodies. Yet, most people do not give much thought as to what materials are being implanted, and how they may react with the body. One perfect example of this would be having a cavity filled. In today¡¯s society dentists use various different materials and methods to fill cavities. Yet, the oldest and perhaps most effective is dental amalgam.
Dental (silver) amalgam has been used in various dental applications for more than a century. In fact, the first written record of amalgam being used in dental applications is 1528 .Yet, it is still a very commonly used material today. Amalgam was first made by melting down Spanish or Mexican coins and mixing them with mercury . When it cooled and settled into the cavity, it actually turned black. Bell then evolved this rudimentary procedure into a more controlled alloy in 1819. The substance created a massive wealth for the dental surgeons who promoted its use. However, the substance was actually overused, and in 1845 a convention of dental surgeons agreed to stop its use altogether. They believe that the substance was ineffective, but in actuality it was just overused in situations that it was not designed for. In 1850 it was realized that the substance was irreplaceable and was allowed back into use.
The serious research of dental amalgam commenced in 1861 with the measuring of shrinkage after implantation . Although, it was not until 1896 that G.V. Black created the first specific experiment relating the preparation and handling of amalgam to cavity filling. Much of Black¡¯s research and methods are still used by dentists today. Since the late 1800¡¯s, there have been hundreds, if not thousands of experiments have been conducted on the silver alloy. Experimentation into purification of the alloy was conducted, allowing very precise alloys to...
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