There are two popular types of fillings, metal amalgam and plastic composite resin, and both have their controversial aspects. Metal fillings have prompted mercury concerns, while the more aesthetically pleasing plastic resin fillings have been known to crack prematurely and release potentially toxic bisphenol A.
Although the danger associated with both kinds of common fillings hasn’t proven prevalent enough to end their use, scientists have been searching for a stronger, safer alternative. Interestingly, they may have found it in the human body.
Chinese and Canadian chemists have pinpointed a source of natural resin that won’t crack as easily as current composites: bile. The acids of this digestive fluid, secreted by the liver, form an especially durable “plastic” that not only outlast contemporary fillings, but give dentists and patients peace of mind about a lack of toxicity.
Researchers have yet to determine the ease of obtaining and implementing this material, but the next few years could see developments that bring it closer to the dentist’s office and your cavities.
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