Dr. Stephen A. Price


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The Long and Winding Road of Dental Innovation

By: | Friday, June 15th, 2018 | Cosmetic Dentistry

Friday, June 15th, 2018

Dental Services Burke, VADentistry has had a longer lifespan than many of us could imagine. When we think of dental fillings, we may imagine the dark spots that a parent or grandparent has in their smile. Some people even know that there was a time when metal crowns were sought as a type of cosmetic smile enhancement. Rarely do we stop to consider what may have come before. When we do, though, we can see how long the road to innovation has been, and why we can be thankful for the dental techniques we have today.

The First Dental Fillings

Throughout the history of humankind, tooth decay has always been a risk. The more our usual dietary habits have changed, the more prevalent cavities have become. However, archeological finds have disclosed the existence of cavities in prehistoric remains. Prehistoric! Many hundreds of years ago, there were no dental drills; there wasn’t even a formal field of dentistry (that didn’t happen until the 1800s). However, based on evidence, there was at least one method of removing tooth decay. Fillings were another story altogether.

Dental filling material has been a bigger challenge. Early evidence points to attempts with beeswax and resin. Down the line, tin foil was tried. Gold became a common filling material in the early 1500s and was followed by amalgam shortly after that. Today, we repair cavities using sturdy composite material that looks like natural enamel and is supportive of structural soundness for many years.

Braces? Who Could Have Imagined!

The demand for straight, attractive teeth is so strong today that it’s hard to envision a time when this wasn’t the case. In fact, there may not have been. According to archaic texts and archeological evidence, attempts at straightening teeth existed as far back as ancient Rome. In the 1700s, one of the pioneers of modern dentistry wrote about a bandeau system that could correct misalignment. Just a few hundred years later, we are straightening teeth without braces at all. Invisalign, which corrects misalignment using semi-rigid plastic trays, has become one of the most popular methods of straightening teeth ever to exist.

There is no denying that a lot can change over time. We are proud to support our patients’ desires for healthy, attractive teeth by providing modern dental techniques with a proven track record. To learn more about our services or schedule your visit, call our Burke office at (703)-935-2879.



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