HOME - News - Editorials
11 September 2019

What do patients think about dentistry today?

Lorenzo Breschi

Are amalgam fillings still the best materials for the reconstruction of our teeth? According to a survey conducted by the Italian Academy of Conservative and Restorative Dentistry (AIC) presented during the 21st National Congress held in May 2019 in Bologna, 35% of the Italians consider amalgam restorations the most reliable treatment for caries. On the other hand, only 26% of the interviewed seem to be aware of the fact that silver-colored fillings are no longer the material of choice. Indeed, theirs use, has been strongly limited by a European Union regulation that from 2018 prohibits its use in children and pregnant or nursing women. The reason for this regulation is the alleged toxicity due to the release of mercury, one of the main components of the alloy used for fillings.

Unfortunately, the knowledge that Italians have of dental treatment has remained at a standstill a few decades ago, when it was normal to use gold for prostheses and silver amalgam for fillings. However, despite the thought of the interviewed patients, dentists are well informed about the new European rules and have a good knowledge of the state-of-the-art materials for teeth reconstruction. As a matter of facts, only 4% of the fillings performed each year, for a total of about 1,000,000 interventions are made with amalgam, showing that the use of this material is now residual in the daily clinical practice, and is limited to specific cases and to particular welfare and social situations, where it cannot be replaced with the current materials on the market. The remaining 96% of the teeth that are treated each year are currently performed with resinous-based materials, which are adhesively bonded to the dental substrate and allow excellent aesthetic integration and a preservation of residual sound tissue. These materials, unlike amalgam, have a color that is similar to that of the natural teeth and, if placed following the appropriate protocols, guarantee a duration over time comparable to that of the well-established longevity of amalgam and gold. Moreover, the resin-based materials composed of organic resins, silicon crystals, quartz and other fillers, have the enormous advantage of being reparable over time, thus increasing their permanence in the mouth. 

Although amalgam has had, in the past, wide employment in the dental field, the scientific community is working to raise awareness among dentists, and especially patients, on the importance of preserving the residual sound dental tissue and therefore, of a more modern and conservative approach to the treatment of teeth that have undergone tissue loss due to pathological or traumatic causes.

The concept of minimally invasive dentistry does not mean that all amalgam fillings need an immediate replacement with an adhesive resin-based filling, but it lays the foundation for a more up to date dentistry, closer to the concept of respect and preservation of the natural tooth. Safeguarding teeth through less invasive procedures is of extreme importance, especially if it is considered that the data of the survey conducted by Datanalysis on 1000 adults representative of the Italian population confirms that the patients do care a lot about their smile and teeth.  


Related articles

Editorials     09 March 2021

Aiming to the Perfect Smile

During these times in which all the world is asked to wear masks, we truly understand how much our smile is important. Smiling to give a good impression to the person we’re just introduced to,...

Editorials     23 December 2020

End of 2020

Dear Colleagues,December 2020 marks the end of a very unexpected and difficult year for the entire planet. Covid-19 pandemic literally modified our lives and our habits starting from the very...

Editorials     27 October 2020

The human biases in dentistry

At the end of the day, we'd like to think that all the treatments we have offered our patients are the best possible. Dentists make efforts to enhance their knowledge, tirelessly studying and...

Editorials     01 September 2020

Publishing in the digital era

In the last century, academic journals have played an essential role in the divulgation and preservation of knowledge as well as in giving recognition to the work of researchers. However, in the last...

Editorials     28 July 2020

Welcome Summer 2020

Dear readers, Summer 2020 is definitely a strange and, under certain aspects, never existing season for our planet. The recent notorious burst of...

Read more

USA     18 June 2021 - 30 November 0001

ADHA Annual Conference 2021

June 18-20, 2021. Phoenix, Arizona.

As the largest event dedicated to dental hygienists, this meeting is just for you! 

The treatment of palatal displaced canines (PDCs) is one of the most challenging treatments in orthodontic dental care. The invasive and long-lasting treatment often requires interceptive extraction...

Recorded webinar - Oral Surgery - Prof. Testori

Sinus elevation surgery has become a sought-after part of implant dentistry. Procedures have evolved over the last 25 years to a point where sinus grafting surgery is considered one of the most...

Dental billing platform company, Vyne Dental, has acquired patient communications company, Operability, LLC. The acquisition also includes Operability’s OperaDDS platform, which launched in 2011 to...

Authors: Monica Giani, Umberto Pagliaro, Lorenzo Franchi, Roberto Rotundo, Michele Nieri

Purpose. The aim of this randomized clinical trial with blinded examiner was to compare the efficacy of four different methods of enhancing oral hygiene motivation in: (i) reducing the full-mouth...


Most popular




Copyright © 2021 - All Rights Reserved
ISSN 2767-1178